Portuguese alcohol and health forum experience as an ecological approach to the alcohol related harms
The Portuguese Alcohol and Health Forum is a common platform for stakeholders at national level to pledge to reduce alcohol-related harm.
This is a Forum where governmental, civil associations and economic operators debate issues linked to the harm related with the use of alcohol and its implication for public health – National Alcohol and Health Forum (FNAS – Fórum Nacional Álcool e Saúde)
Working together since 2008, it became an important consultative associate in the definition process of the new law – Decree No. 50/2013, of April 16, which amends the Decree No. 9/2002, of 24 January, establishing the availability, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places and places open to the public in Portugal.
Actually, it counts with 82 entities of public health; social and solidarity organizations; education and universities; public administration; NGO; trade unions; municipalities; media and advertising; youth and family organisations; professional bodies; scientific societies; production and retailing, and each one has an individual or a collective commitment based on 3 common high-lights:
- Non drinking alcohol under 18 years old;
- Non drinking alcohol if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding;
- Non drinking alcohol when driving.
All commitments are designed according the National Plan for Reducing Alcohol Related Problems (PNRPLA), in order to achieve the goals, previously validated by the forum Members.
Together this dynamic network of institutions come to be involved in the diagnose, planning, and implementation of the actual needs, responding with different types of intervention at the demand field - prevention, dissuasion, treatment, harm reduction and reinsertion - as well as at supply field.
All the commitments are supervised by the Forum’s executive secretariat and the result’s indicators are organized in annual reports of intervention.
The commitments process indicators are collected in a planning perspective and, at the end of the intervention, from an implementation viewpoint. Members are called to evaluate the success rate of their actions.
Between 2010 and 2016, 130 action commitments were implemented. Among the different types of intervention, 69% of the actions were taken in the prevention area, from awareness-raising to multi-sessions programs, consumer information (33%) as well as the professionals training to approach with harm related to alcohol (33%). The main target group was professionals (68%), followed by adolescents / young adults (47% / 37% respectively) and workers (37%). The most significant intervention context was schools (40%) followed by labor (32%) and community (30%).
At this paper we intent to show how this experience contribute for reducing the alcohol related harm in Portugal along with the results that have been achieved over this last ten years, and well how we expect to overcome new challenges.