Changes in consumption and harms, yet little policy progress

This paper reports on trends in alcohol consumption and related problems in the Republic of Ireland during the years 1990-2010, and on alcohol policy developments over this same period. Prior to the collapse of the Irish economy in late-2008, Ireland had enjoyed almost fifteen years of unprecedented economic growth, with commensurate increases in levels of personal disposable income. As predicted by economists, economic growth was accompanied by substantial increases in levels of alcohol consumption, with corresponding increases in all the main indicators of alcohol-related problems. Although numerous policy reports from the health sector advocated alcohol control strategies, due to the generally neo-liberal ethos of this era and active lobbying from the drinks industry, little or no implementation of such strategies occurred. Reflecting the current economic down-turn, levels of alcohol consumption have now stabilized. It is concluded, however, that implementation of comprehensive, top-down, alcohol strategies remains unlikely, and that bottom-up, community mobilization offers the best prospect for change in this sphere.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Hope A.
  • Issue

    NORDIC STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS / pages 479-495 / volume 27
  • Published Date