Management of substance abuse


Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014

Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2011

Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, 2010

Alcohol and injuries: Emergency department studies in an international perspective, 2009

Alcohol-attributable injuries are of a growing concern to the public health community, with alcohol-related injuries such as road traffic accidents, burns, poisonings, falls and drownings making up more than a third of the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption. This publication synthesizes results of a number of hospital emergency department studies conducted in different cultural and health care settings, including the WHO Collaborative Study on Alcohol and Injuries. It provides an introduction to the epidemiology of alcohol related injuries and refers to methodological issues of emergency department studies. It addresses public policy implications and equips the reader with practical information on interventions that can be implemented in emergency departments, such as screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful drinking. The book has been compiled by an international group of editors with extensive experience in the area of alcohol and injuries.

Alcohol and Injury in Emergency Departments, 2007

Summary of the Report from the WHO Collaborative Study on Alcohol and Injuries.

WHO Collaborative Project on Identification and Management of Alcohol-Related Problems in Primary Health Care. Report on Phase IV: Development of Country-Wide Strategies for Implementing Early Identification and Brief Intervention in Primary Health Care, 2006

This Report describes the background, methods and findings of Phase IV of the WHO Collaborative Project on Detection and Management of Alcohol-related Problems in Primary Health Care. Phase IV was entitled: Development of Countrywide Strategies for Implementing Early Identification and Brief Intervention in Primary Health Care.

Previous phases of the Collaborative Project were as follows:

Phase I: a reliable and valid screening instrument for detecting hazardous and harmful drinkers in primary health care (PHC) settings was developed (the AUDIT questionnaire);

Phase II: a clinical trial of screening and brief intervention in PHC was carried out;

Phase III: the current practices and perceptions of general medical practitioners (GPs) were assessed (Strand 1), in-depth telephone interviews with GPs and personal interviews with key informants were conducted (Strand 2) and methods for encouraging the uptake and utilization of a screening and brief intervention package by GPs were evaluated in a controlled trial (Strand 3).

The aims of the WHO Collaborative Project are fully consistent with the European Charter on Alcohol and with the European Alcohol Action Plan.

Alcohol, Gender and Drinking Problems: Perspectives from Low and Middle Income Countries, 2005

This book is a product of the multinational collaborative project on "Gender, Alcohol and Culture: an International Study" (GENACIS). It addresses significant issues on gender and alcohol and presents data from eight low and middle income countries.

Alcohol Use and Sexual Risk Behaviour: A Cross-Cultural Study in Eight Countries, 2005

The project focused on eight countries from four continents (Belarus, India, Mexico, Kenya, Romania, the Russian Federation, South Africa and Zambia) and consisted of (1) a literature review carried out during 2002; (2) developing methodological premises for a field study aimed at complementing the literature data with up-to-date empirical findings (2002); (3) on-site research in the eight countries, yielding eight country reports (2002-2003); and (4) country-specific findings, which are the subject of this report.

Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004, 2004

The Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004 is the second global status report on alcohol published by WHO. The first report was published in 1999. This report provides an update on the global picture of the status of alcohol as a factor in world health and seeks to document what is known about alcohol consumption and drinking patterns among various population groups.

The report consists of two parts. The first part presents an overview and comparative analyses of the alcohol situation on a regional and global basis using indicators such as alcohol consumption and use, prevalence rates and drinking patterns. There is also a discussion on the health and social consequences of alcohol use. The second part of the report consists of a CD-ROM which presents individual country profiles for all Member States for which sufficient data were available. The profiles bring together information on each of these indicators: trends in adult per capita consumption as well as prevalence/drinking patterns data, information regarding traditional and/or locally brewed alcoholic beverages, unrecorded alcohol consumption, health and social problems, including morbidity and mortality from alcohol-related causes, and the social and economic costs of alcohol abuse.

The Global Status Report on Alcohol 2004 presents evidence that will hopefully stimulate further efforts to document alcohol use, problems and policies in WHO Member States.

To purchase a copy of this publication, please click below to the WHO Bookshop.

Global Status Report: Alcohol Policy, 2004

The Global Status Report: Alcohol Policy aims to describe the present status of existing alcohol policies worldwide. The report is based on a review of existing policies in 118 countries and provides a brief snapshot of what is known about the effectiveness of alcohol policy measures.

To purchase a copy of this publication, please click below to the WHO Bookshop.

Alcohol in Developing Societies: A Public Health Approach, 2002

An international group of scholars analyzes the many sides of the problem of alcohol with a focus on Africa, Latin America, Asia, Oceania and indigenous societies within developed countries. The primary audience for which this book is written is those involved in dealing with alcohol problems in developing societies. This includes not only public health workers, law enforcement and public administration, but also policy-makers and concerned citizens.

To purchase a copy of this publication, please click below to the WHO Bookshop.

Global Status Report: Alcohol and Young People, 2001

Drawing on WHO's global alcohol database, this report will provide an overview of the prevalence of drinking among young people, alcohol-related mortality and other health effects, trends in the alcohol environment surrounding youthful drinking, and prevention policies designed to reduce alcohol-related problems among the young.

AUDIT - The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Care (second edition), 2001

This manual introduces the AUDIT, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, and describes how to use it to identify persons with hazardous and harmful patterns of alcohol consumption.

Brief Intervention for Hazardous and Harmful Drinking: A Manual for Use in Primary Care, 2001

This manual is written to help primary health care workers - physicians, nurses, community health workers, and others - to deal with persons whose alcohol consumption has become hazardous or harmful to their health.

Surveys of Drinking Patterns and Problems in Seven Developing Countries, 2001

The present manuscript's aim is to put together survey analyses on drinking patterns and problems in a variety of developing societies.

A Summary of the Global Status Report on Alcohol, 2001

International Guide for Monitoring Alcohol Consumption and Related Harm, 2000

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to WHO Member States on epidemiological monitoring in order to inform and facilitate effective policy formulation, and to improve the global and regional comparability of data on alcohol use and health consequences in order to improve monitoring and to facilitate research and risk assessment. It is intended to provide general principles and also practical guidance on the development of realistic and effective sets of indicators of alcohol consumption and harm for different countries with different levels of resources.

Systematic Review of Opioid Antagonists for Alcohol Dependence, 2000

The results from animal studies suggest that opioid antagonists may prevent the reinforcing effects of alcohol consumption. This systematic review was carried out to determine the effectiveness of opioid antagonists for attenuating or preventing the recommencement of alcohol consumption in patients with alcohol dependence.

Global Status Report on Alcohol 1999, 1999

To provide a global picture of the status of alcohol as a factor in world health, the report begins with an overview describing the types of alcohol available around the world and summarizing data and trends in recorded and unrecorded alcohol production and adult per capita consumption of alcohol. Other topics covered include prevalence of drinking and drinking patterns, the alcohol industry, health effects of alcohol consumption and the implementation of national alcohol control policies.

Following the overview are country profiles for all Member States for which sufficient data were available. These profiles include information about alcohol use, including trends in adult per capita consumption as well as prevalence data; health and social problems, including morbidity and mortality from alcohol-related causes; policies designed to control alcohol products and problems; and data collection, research and treatment activities.

Alcohol and Public Health in 8 Developing Countries, 1999

This book profiles the current situations concerning alcoholic beverages in eight developing countries: Brazil, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Each chapter presents a brief historical sketch of alcohol in that country, describes the types of alcoholic beverages consumed, gives information on alcohol production, availability and marketing, discusses patterns of use, and then focuses on the particular alcohol-related problems that exist, along with whatever responses have been mounted to counteract them.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence Policies, Legislation and Programmes for Treatment and Rehabilitation, 1999

This document reviews legislation on compulsory legal commitment, treatment associated wih the criminal justice system, and reporting, registration, laboratory testing and community surveillance. It analyzes national drug and alcohol policies and programmes for treatment and rehabilitation. It also reviews developments in several areas including legislation relating to HIV infection and AIDS as well as to solvent abuse, and measures to combat discrimination and protect human rights.

This document can be downloaded in the following separate sections:


  • 1. Background
  • 2. Recent developments
  • 3. WHO's reports on treatment and rehabilitation
  • 4. Community integration, employee assistance in the workplace and self-help
  • 5. International conventions, national implementation and United Nations guidelines
  • 6. Regional agreements and bilateral collaboration
  • 7. Government policy objectives
  • 8. Programme implementation and evaluation
  • 9. Applied principles of legislation on drug and alcohol dependence
  • 10. Voluntary treatment
  • 11. Restrictive or compulsory procedures
  • 12. Treatment associated with the criminal justice system
  • 13. Compulsory and voluntary reporting, central registries, laboratory testing and community surveillance
  • 14. Individual rights and responsibilities
  • 15. AIDS legislation: bridge to treatment


  • List of participants
  • Summary of legislation: Compulsory civil commitment
  • Summary of legislation: Treatment associated with the criminal justice system
  • Summary of legislation: Complusory reporting, central registries, laboratory testing and community surveillance
  • List of legislation reviewed
  • Does legislation help or hinder programme development?
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgements

Project on Identification and Management of Alcohol-Related Problems. Report on Phase II: A Randomized Clinical Trial of Brief Interventions in Primary Health Care, 1992

This report describes the rationale, methodology and findings of a cross-national multicentre clinical trial of brief intervention procedures designed to reduce the health risks associated with hazardous alcohol use. The study was coordinated by WHO at collaborating centres in ten countries: Australia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Zimbabwe.

The Development of Alcohol Policies in Federal Countries, 1990

This document concerns the development of alcohol prevention policies in federal countries, with particular attention to initiatives that can be taken at the intermediate level of government to support national alcohol policy and local actions to prevent alcohol-related problems.

WHO/ISBRA Study on Biological State and Trait Markers of Alcohol Use Dependence: Progress Report

This report describes the history and progress made in the development and implementation of the international collaborative study on biological state and trait markers of alcohol use and dependence. It also provides an overview of current biological indicators of alcohol use and dependence used in clinical practice and in research.

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