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6. WHAT TO DO? The issues related to the impact of substance use on children described in the previous chapters of this booklet are understandably complex and require a correspondingly broad set of interventions to prevent and treat the resulting problems. To be most effective, those interventions should be coordinated and interactive, introduced both locally and nationally and targeted at a variety of the most vulnerable groups.

The evidence for such interventions is well summarized in the research monograph, “Alcohol; No Ordinary Commodity� (Babor, T. el al, 2010). That book reviews research findings on 42 commonly used alcohol prevention interventions and rates their effectiveness and efficiency as prevention measures.

The following section suggests key areas for action. Some of the recommendations concern initiatives directed specifically toward children and youth, while others address adult populations and societal structures. For this booklet, each of them is described only summarily. More information is available in other FORUT publications and in the list of references at the end of this booklet. Addressing adult population with alcohol policies A substantial part of alcohol-related harm to children is caused by adults’ drinking. Therefore, a true prevention strategy to address those harms must include interventions that address the drinking practices of the adult population. Alcohol policies implemented by governments to reduce alcohol consumption have proven to be among the most costeffective means of preventing and reducing alcoholrelated harm, including problems experienced by children. In particular, regulating the availability and affordability of alcohol, as well as restricting alcohol marketing, can help reduce overall average alcohol consumption, promote beneficial changes in drinking patterns, moderate incidences of drunken behaviour, and provide protection from harm for those who choose not to drink.

Protection of children and adolescents is one of the primary objectives of a national alcohol policy.


Childhood matters