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The HSE National Alcohol Programme


Tackling harmful drinking and reducing consumption is a key element of the HSE’s goal to “Promote health and wellbeing … so that people will be healthier”.

The HSE’s alcohol policy on alcohol complements and supports legislative actions to control the supply and marketing of alcohol.

The HSE National Alcohol Programme has the following priorities:

  • Raising awareness of the harm caused by alcohol
  • Building capacity within services to address excessive consumption through early intervention alcohol screening, brief advice and effective services for alcohol dependency
  • Enforcement of new legislation and regulations
  • Supporting evidence based community action.


Actions to achieve these aims

  1. Facilitate the release of key frontline staff for training in brief intervention so that they have the skills and confidence to recognise and address alcohol misuse
  2. Staff to “make every contact count” by screening, intervening and referring service users to specialist support as appropriate as a routine part of the delivery of care across all services. Record alcohol consumption patterns and intervention delivered
  3. Display communications campaign materials and resources in all HSE settings to reinforce positive health messages
  4. Continue the development of linkages with community drugs and alcohol services
  5. Record baselines, interventions and outcomes to demonstrate effectiveness of interventions
  6. Continue work in the area of sexual health promotion and improvement relating to the role of alcohol and sexual-risk taking


HSE guiding principles

Impartial: The HSE’s position is that public health information must not be connected to the alcohol industry. The HSE’s alcohol policy precludes HSE services, divisions or staff from taking part in campaigns, programmes or initiatives that are funded, or co-funded by alcohol manufacturers and distributors, as there is an inherent conflict associated with the alcohol industry playing a role in providing public health advice.

Evidence based: The HSE's information programmes are supported by clinical experts and based on robust evidence-based to provide public health advice that is impartial and authoritative.

Effective: Measures will have clear behaviour-change objectives, and their impact will be measured and evaluated. They will be implemented through community actions, via local or regional inter-sectoral plans, as an effective way to focus actions to improve health and wellbeing and support public safety.

HSE Alcohol Partnership Policy.doc (size 289.8 KB)

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