Community-Based Interventions to Reduce Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol-Related Harm in Adults

J Community Health. 2021 Jun;46(3):565-576. doi: 10.1007/s10900-020-00898-6.


Alcohol consumption was associated with 3 million deaths worldwide in 2016. Although community action has proven to be effective and has become a priority area of the global strategy to reduce alcohol consumption, there is a gap in the knowledge of community interventions to reduce alcohol use among adults. This study aims to analyze the evidence on effective community-based interventions to reduce alcohol consumption and harm among adults and to identify their components and underlying theories. Search strategy involved five databases (January 2000-March 2020). We included multicomponent, evaluated, and community interventions addressing to adults in urban settings of high-income countries. Furthermore, two conceptual frameworks were adapted to identify the social determinants of alcohol related harms and modifiable factors through community interventions. The initial search yielded 164 articles. The final sample included eight primary studies. Six of them were effective and shared three components (community mobilization; law enforcement and media campaigns), they combined approaches at individual and environmental levels addressing structural determinants of health and some cultural aspects related to consumption. Health outcomes focused mainly on reducing consumption, modifying patterns and acute effects on health. Few studies addressed social problems arising from harmful consumption. This review has identified several effective community-based interventions to reduce harmful use of alcohol among adults as well as some mechanisms and theories supporting them. It also provides a framework to guide new designs, with potential evidence of factors, as well as possible combinations of methods to improve health at community level across different settings and contexts.

Keywords: Adults; Alcohol consumption; Community participation; Community-based interventions; Hazardous alcohol consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking* / prevention & control
  • Community Participation
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Substance-Related Disorders*