Reducing the harm associated with alcohol consumption [Internet]

Montrouge (FR): EDP Sciences; 2022.


This document summarizes the work of a multidisciplinary group of twelve experts brought together by Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) as part of a collective expert report procedure (Appendix) at the request of the French health authorities. The review, originally published in French, explores the health and socio-economic burden of alcohol consumption and is based on the academic literature available in the first half of 2020. Nearly 3,600 articles constituted the document base for this expert report. The analysis covers recent data on alcohol consumption levels and patterns, the impact of alcohol on health (including low consumption levels and also damage specific to the perinatal period), the socio-economic costs of alcohol, risk factors for consumption, and aspects related to the marketing and lobbying activities of the alcohol industry. Measures for reducing alcohol-related harm are examined and evaluated, including primary and secondary prevention (restricting supply and demand, screening, interventions, alcohol abstinence challenges), as well as management of alcohol dependency. It concludes with a series of recommendations for both public policy and research. Those which have proven their effectiveness are highlighted and must be integrated at the heart of a public health policy of harm reduction based on reducing alcohol consumption.

Publication types

  • Review