A newsletter about events, issues and everyday people and their heart-driven work all around the world.
You may find updates on what's going on in IOGT International and its people, on coming events and on alcohol and other drugs policy issues.
#LifeSetFree #HeartDriven #TheWorldIsOurField

Urgent Message from the President: Statement of Concern

We are submitting this public Statement of Concern to the WHO Secretariat in response to the activities of the global alcohol producers.
Based on their lack of support for effective alcohol policies, misinterpretation of the Global Strategy’s provisions, and their lobbying against effective public health measures, we believe that the alcohol industry’s inappropriate commitments must be met with a united response from the global health community.

Coalition of researchers and NGO leaders:

The alcohol industry misinterprets the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy
A Statement of Concern regarding the global alcohol producers’ involvement in WHO’s Global Strategy has been delivered to Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, and will also be sent to the Directors of the WHO Regional Offices as well.
An independent coalition of public health professionals, health scientists and NGO representatives has now written a public letter that is addressed to the WHO Director General in response to the recent initiatives of the global alcohol producers.

IOGT International Takes #CoA Week Global

Every year civil society organisations promoting the rights and well-being of Children of Alcoholics (CoA) conduct
the CoA Week - an awareness and action week to end the silence and break the taboo the still exists in terms of children of alcoholics.

We will issue a press release with statements from organizations from around the world
and we have prepared beautiful posters to raise awareness and remind the world of what matters:
the dreams and hopes, the abilities, skills and opportunities of our children.
As our Vice President says: "Seen with the eyes of our children, the world we live in has an alcohol problem."

Open Letter

to European Commissioner for Health and Consumers Mr. Tonio Borg

Sven-Olov has written an Open Letter to Tonio Borg, on behalf of the members of IOGT International.

We encourage the Commissioner for Health and Consumers to address alcohol harm with the same vigour
as he addresses tobacco harm and encourage him to show leadership in reducing and preventing alcohol harm
to solve the European economic and social crisis.


Appeal To Global

Health Community

Opportunity to endorse “STATEMENT OF CONCERN”
about the Increasing involvement of the alcohol industry
in public health activities
throughout the world

As an independent coalition of public health professionals, health scientists and
NGO representatives, we have written a public letter to the WHO Director General
in response to the recent initiatives of the global alcohol producers.
Based on their lack of support for effective alcohol policies, their
misinterpretation of the Global Strategy’s provisions, and their lobbying against
effective public health measures, the alcohol industry’s inappropriate
commitments must be met with a united response from
global health community. 

We are now asking you to review the Statement of Concern, and
endorse it by sending an email to the office of
the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance (GAPA) at  
giving the following details:

  • Full name
  • Professional title
  • Institution affiliation
  • Country

New Infographics

Alcohol harm causes tremendous harm and cuases paramount costs.
These diagrams show vividly how huge the costs of alcohol are in the
European Union - the heaviest alcohol using region in the world

Maik's Blog

EU Budget Talks and the Need For Keeping Figures in Perspective

The latest EU summit was yet again in the headlines.

In this atmosphere it is valuable to look from a different perspective and so, our Policy Officer compares the new EU budget with the tangible costs of alcohol harm.
Mathematically it would be possible to finance an EU budget with the costs that alcohol harm swallows up over a seven year period in the EU...

Check out the three 

Upcoming Events 2013

See also Going On


Commission for Social Development - New York, USA


Understanding the Burden of Liver Disease - why urgent action is needed - Brussels, Belgium


Commission on the Status of Women 57 - New York, USA


5th Annual Women's Empowerment Principles - New York, USA


Informal dialogue NGO consultation NCDs Global Action Plan - Geneva, Switzerland


Commission on Narcotic Drugs - Vienna, Austria


Administrative Committee Meeting - IOGT International Headquarters


NSM NCD Conference 2013 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


4th Annual East African Health and Scientific Conference - Kigali, Rwanda


European Training Course - Tartu, Estonia


Building Blocks for Sound Alcohol Policies - Washington DC, USA


23rd World Economic Forum on Africa - Cape Town, South Africa


66th World Health Assembly - Geneva, Switzerland


ICPD International Conference on Human Rights - The Hague, Netherlands


HEARTBEAT 2013 Summer Camp - Bosnia and Herzegovina


World Conference on Health Promotion - Pattaya, Thailand


Social Good Summit - New York, USA


Brief Interventions on Alcohol and other Drugs - Rome, Italy


1st International Conference on Prevention of FASD - Edmonton, Canada


16th European Health Forum Gastein - Gastein, Austria


One Young World Summit - Johannesburg, South Africa


GAPC 2013 - Seoul, South Korea


Lithuanian EU Presidency Conference on Mental Health Issues - Vilnius, Lithuania


IOGT International Congress 2014 - Hua Hin, Thailand

Policy Update for Evidence-Based, High-Impact Alcohol Regulations

Finland: Prices for stronger beer would fall by 25% if sold in normal grocery stores
The Pellervo Economic Research Institute (PTT) says that allowing grocery stores to sell stronger beer than they can at present would cause dramatic price reductions. Currently all beverages with an alcohol content exceeding 4.7 percent (so-called Class III beers) are sold exclusively by the state-run Alko retail stores.
PTT conducted a survey on behalf of both the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry and the Finnish Grocery Trade Association, and is comes along with loud calls by health organisations for tougher alcohol legislation. Recently, a petition signed by 21 health organisations called for removing medium-strength beer from grocery stores and kiosks, and restricting the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

Iceland: Alcohol Sales Decrease steadily
Alcohol consumption decreases steadily and has not been less for the last seven years. Alcohol sales decreased about 1.4% from January 2012 to January 2013. The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company reports that more red and white wine was sold between years but less beer, strong liquors and mixed drinks, which amounted to an overall decrease in sales.
Canada: Alcohol-related deaths decline after price increase
Increasing the minimum price of alcohol by 10% can lead to immediate and significant drops in alcohol-related deaths and may also have long-term beneficial health effects, according to a study published on Thursday.

 Canadian researchers found that deaths caused by alcohol between 2002 and 2009 in the western province of British Columbia dropped when the minimum alcohol price was increased, while alcohol-related deaths rose when more private alcohol stores were opened.
Children Of Alcoholics Face Ongoing Struggle
As Children of Alcoholics Week begins, campaigners are trying to raise awareness about the difficulties faced by youngsters who grow up in households with alcohol issues.
Hilary Henriques, one of the founders of the NACOA UK, warns the recession has only made the situation worse with addicts drinking to cope with financial pressure and in turn struggling to fund their alcohol problem. 
Australia: Proximity to take-home alcohol outlet increases harm
A recent study has shown new evidence that people with greater access to alcohol outlets were more likely to experience alcohol harm and develop mental health disorders. The number of alcohol outlets within 1600 metres from home was measured against levels of alcohol consumption for each participant as well as hospital contacts for anxiety, stress and depression.
UK: Alcohol users generally underestimate their own alcohol use by 40%
Regular alcohol users are deceiving themselves about how much alcohol they consume, England’s most senior doctor warned.
A new official snapshot of the country’s alcohol use patterns found people are underestimating their consumption by up to 40 per cent.
While up to four in five people described themselves as a “moderate drinker”, they admitted they exceeded safe guidelines and knew the health risks of their habits.
Almost two in three of these drinkers had “no intention of cutting down”, the Department of Health research found.
Medical experts today said the findings suggested that government warnings about the dangers of excessive drinking were not being listened to.
Russia: Parliament Aims To Sober Up Country With Proposal To Raise Legal Age for alcohol use
The Russian parliament is considering a new bill that would raise the legal age from 18 to 21 amid a nationwide campaign to cut down on alcohol consumption.
The age of initiation to alcohol in recent years has declined from 15 to 11 years. Experts estimate that in Russia, because of alcohol consumption, of 100 young men only 40 will live to retirement age. The bill arrives in the midst of Moscow's push to cut down on alcohol consumption.
USA: Fewer Teens Receiving Substance Abuse Prevention Messages From Media
The percentage of teenagers who receive substance abuse prevention messages from the media in the past year dropped from 83.2 percent in 2002, to 75.1 percent in 2011, according to a new government report.
Teens also received fewer school-based prevention messages, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found. Such messages reached 78.8 percent of teens in 2002, and 74.5 percent in 2011. An estimated 40 percent of teens did not talk with their parents in the past year about the dangers of substance abuse, Newswise reports.
“To prevent substance abuse among our adolescents, our young people have to know the facts about the real risks of substance abuse, and we’re not doing a very good job of that right now,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.
USA: Lower legal age for alcohol use linked to more binge alcohol consumption
People who grew up in states where it was legal to use alcohol before age 21 are more likely to be binge consumers later in life, according to a new study.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis tracked the long-term alcohol use behavior of more than 39,000 people who began using alcohol in the 1970s, when some states had legal ages as low as 18.
Diet-Soda Mixers Can Lead to Quicker Intoxication
 A new study, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, found that using diet soda as a mixer can dramatically increase blood-alcohol content (BAC) without increasing your awareness of being impaired.
“One of the key things we found was that even though BAC peaked 18% higher in the diet condition, [participants] didn’t feel any more intoxicated and they didn’t feel any different as to how willing they were to drive a car,” says the study’s lead author Cecile Marczinski, who is an assistant professor of psychology at Northern Kentucky University.

Study claims minimum pricing cuts alcohol-related deaths
Research published in Canada has linked the introduction of minimum pricing with a significant drop in alcohol-related deaths. The researchers said a rise in alcohol prices of 10% would lead to a 32% reduction in alcohol-related deaths.
The Canadian study was carried out between 2002 and 2009 in British Columbia, where alcohol could only be sold directly to the public in government-owned stores.
It suggests that, when alcohol prices rose, there were "immediate, substantial and significant reductions" in deaths wholly attributable to alcohol abuse.
Dr Tim Stockwell, director of the University of Victoria's Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, said: "This study adds to the scientific evidence that, despite popular opinion to the contrary, even the heaviest alcohol users reduce their consumption when minimum alcohol prices increase.”
Childhood Emotional Abuse Dramatically Strong Among Male Alcohol-dependent Individuals
Childhood maltreatment has been found to have a negative impact on central serotonergic neurotransmission. A new evaluation of the impact of childhood maltreatment on central serotonergic dysfunction in Alcohol Disorder individuals has found that self-reported childhood emotional abuse is associated with a 90% reduction in central serotonergic neurotransmission in male Alcohol Disorder individuals.
Results will be published in the May 2013 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

USA: Best friends influence when teenagers have first alcohol useStudy notes friends' access to alcohol as main reason
A national study by a University of Iowa-led team has found that adolescents who get their first alcohol from a friend are more likely to use alcohol sooner in life, which past studies show makes them more prone to abusing alcohol when they get older.
The basis for the study, published this month in the journal Pediatrics, is compelling: One-third of eighth graders in the United States report they’ve tried alcohol, according to a 2011 study of 20,000 teenagers conducted by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institutes of Health. By 10th grade, more than half say they’ve had a first alcohol use, and that percentage shoots to 70 percent by their senior year.
India: Need control on alcohol use to curb cancer
Two-thirds of the cancer cases in India can be prevented either by making effective policies or better implementation of the existing ones, say experts. What's more, a grip on alcohol consumption can help prevent a large percentage of cancer.
According to the World Economic Forum, cancer is among one of the three greatest risks to the global economy. This may be due to escalating cost of care, the threat to productivity from death and disability, and the effects of costs on household impoverishment.

Malawi: Malawi to Restrict Alcohol Consumption
A 2009 survey by the World Health Organization on Non Communicable Diseases, or NCDs, and its risk factors shows that 20 percent of all Malawians consume alcohol.
The study indicates that one in five men and one in 50 women use alcohol excessively. 
Health experts say alcohol use causes significant public health problems. Dr Beatrice Mwagomba, the Program Officer for the NCDs and Mental Health in the Ministry of Health,  says "There [are]…major non communicable diseases [like] diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular diseases in general, respiratory diseases as well as cancers. [They include] liver cancer and esophagus cancer or cancer of the throat and there is evidence that alcohol does impact of these three major non communicable diseases.”
The study also shows how alcohol use affects sexual behavior, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.
New study finds children's alcohol ad exposure may lead to fights, academic decline and attending classes drunk
New research suggests that seeing beer and liquor ads on TV may promote alcohol use as early as seventh grade and leads to alcohol-related problems just a few years later. The American study describes that the more ad exposure teenage participants reported, the more they used by 10th grade.
Early alcohol use is in turn associated with the development of alcohol-related problems by 10th grade, said lead researcher Jerry Grenard. "Examples of problems include failing to do homework, attending school drunk, passing out and getting into fights," said Grenard associate professor in the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University in California.

Narcotic Drugs Policy Briefing
Europe: Internet Sales of Illegal Drugs a Major Problem: European Union Study
Almost any kind of illegal drug can be purchased online and delivered by mail, without the buyer making direct contact with drug dealers, according to a new report by the European Union. The report states such purchases make it more difficult to track drug routes.
According to the EMCDDA report, Europe is an increasingly important producer of synthetic drugs. Mobile production units are used to conceal the drugs during manufacturing. Marijuana production is also increasing throughout Europe, the study notes.

#3 Newsletter 2013
IOGT International | 2013 | Feel free to use content.

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IOGT International is the largest word wide community of NGOs with a mission to independently enlighten people around the world of a lifestyle free from alcohol and other drugs.
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