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Alcohol Harm Reduction 2021 and Beyond: Current Status of Policy, Programs and Practices

AlcoholGuest Editor: 
Bernie Pauly, RN, PhD, University of Victoria, Canada

Harm Reduction Journal

Worldwide, alcohol carries a high morbidity and mortality: it is implicated in more than 200 disease and injury conditions with more than 3 million deaths per year (5.3% of the population) (1).  Alcohol related harms are exacerbated by health and social inequities (e.g. sex/gender, racism, socio economic disparities). The Covid-19 epidemic has had impacts on use and patterns of drinking as well as related harms. The pragmatism underlying harm reduction for illicit drugs applies equally to alcohol. The field of alcohol harm reduction runs from macro- and meso-level policies to targeted programs and micro-level practices, with a need to understand and inform action to reduce alcohol related morbidity and mortality. Understanding universal and tailored harm reduction responses is important in the wake of Covid-19 and beyond. 

In this recent thematic series, we sought to include a broad range of articles providing evidence of macro-, meso- and micro-level alcohol harm reduction policies, programs and practices across the social gradient that aim to enhance population health and the health of groups impacted by health inequities. Research that spans a range of different geographical contexts as well as well as reflecting current issues, policies, programs and practices related to age, gender, sexual orientation and cultural identity were particularly interesting.

Submissions are now closed and were invited until September 2021. For further information, please contact the Editors.

  1. Despite high rates of harm attributable to alcohol use itself and the associated marginalization of illicit drinkers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), alcohol-specific harm reduction services there are ...

    Authors: Aaron Bailey, Brittany Graham, Myles Harps and George Sedore
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2023 20:93
  2. Internationally, strategies focusing on reducing alcohol-related harms in homeless populations with severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) continue to gain acceptance, especially when conventional modalities focuse...

    Authors: Shannon M. Smith-Bernardin, Leslie W. Suen, Jill Barr-Walker, Isabel Arrellano Cuervo and Margaret A. Handley
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:82
  3. The aim of this study was to critically analyse information concerning the relationship between alcohol and food consumption provided via alcohol industry (AI) funded and non-AI-funded health-oriented websites...

    Authors: Anna Ramsbottom, May C. I. van Schalkwyk, Lauren Carters-White, Yasmine Benylles and Mark Petticrew
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:66
  4. The harmful use of alcohol is one of the leading health risk factors for people’s health worldwide, but some populations, like people who experience homelessness, are more vulnerable to its detrimental effects...

    Authors: Rossio Motta-Ochoa, Natalia Incio-Serra, Hélène Poliquin, Sue-Ann MacDonald, Christophe Huỳnh, Philippe-Benoit Côté, Jean-Sébastien Fallu and Jorge Flores-Aranda
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:34
  5. Over the last decade, one-month alcohol abstinence campaigns (OMACs) have been implemented within the general population in an increasing number of countries. We identified the published studies reporting data...

    Authors: Julia de Ternay, Pierre Leblanc, Philippe Michel, Amine Benyamina, Mickael Naassila and Benjamin Rolland
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2022 19:24
  6. Worldwide, alcohol-related road traffic accidents represent a major avoidable health risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of self-estimating the degree of acute alcohol intoxication regardi...

    Authors: Jöran Köchling, Berit Geis, Cho-Ming Chao, Jana-K. Dieks, Stefan Wirth and Kai O. Hensel
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:122
  7. Among individuals experiencing homelessness, the prevalence of alcohol use disorder is extremely high. Alcohol-related harms are compounded by the use of non-beverage alcohol (NBA; e.g. rubbing alcohol, cookin...

    Authors: Jean Nicolas Westenberg, Mostafa Mamdouh Kamel, Sindi Addorisio, Mohammad Abusamak, James S. H. Wong, Ava Outadi, Kerry L. Jang and R. Michael Krausz
    Citation: Harm Reduction Journal 2021 18:108