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Journal Article


Garretsen HF, Knibbe RA. Health Policy 1985; 5(2): 151-158.


(Copyright © 1985, Elsevier Publishing)






In the last decades the Netherlands have experienced a strong increase in heavy drinking, alcohol-related morbidity and, to a lesser extent, alcohol-related mortality. Along with an increase in leisure time and income, it is possible that two more specific factors contributed to these developments in alcohol consumption, i.e. catching up with the drinking habits of neighbouring countries and a process of secularization. The strong increases mentioned have until recently not provoked any strong negative reactions, either from the public at large or from the government. Moreover, the Dutch government has no tradition in developing and implementing a restrictive alcohol policy. In two large-scale studies in Rotterdam and Limburg we have found that in the population at large, there are, with one exception, no strong sentiments in favor of or against concrete preventive measures. We argue that an effective prevention policy is necessary, which should at least contain the following elements: (1) a public health campaign to support the implementation of possible restrictive measures; (2) measures aimed at a stabilization or reduction of the per capita consumption; (3) specific preventive measures for high risk groups; and (4) a social and political structure which facilitates the formulation and implementation of a prevention policy.

Language: en


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