Alcohol Programme

To achieve a healthier and safer Ireland by working to reduce individual and population alcohol consumption and health inequalities, and protecting children, families and communities from alcohol-related harm.

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HSE Alcohol Programme

Established in 2016 to bring leadership and focus to the impact of alcohol related harm on the physical, emotional and mental health of individuals, families and children.

A key aim is to reduce the per capita consumption of alcohol from current levels of 10.8 litres of pure alcohol per capita to 9.1% in line with Healthy Ireland Framework 2013-2025

Working with the Department of Health and Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland and a range of different stakeholders to proactively support the Public Health Alcohol Act, enacted in 2018.

The HSE Alcohol Programme will achieve its vision through:

  • Identifying agreed national priority areas of focus and opportunities for action
  • Facilitating and participating in cross-sectoral collaboration and partnership
  • Informing the public about alcohol and tackling social and cultural norms through the Ask About Alcohol campaign and website
  • Supporting the implementation of effective alcohol policy, legislation and regulations
  • Building capacity within and across services to identify and effectively respond to harmful alcohol consumption
  • Supporting evidence-based public health interventions and community action

Key National Priority Areas of Focus

Priority action areas

The following are the priority action areas for this implementation plan.

1. Leadership and governance

Provide national leadership in the prevention and reduction of alcohol-related harm, with an updated governance infrastructure.

2. Build partnerships for a systems-wide approach to reducing alcohol harm

Build and enhance partnerships with a wide range of services, organisations and sectors to develop and implement policy and practice that prevents and reduces alcohol harm.

3. Protect the population from alcohol harm by:

  • Conducting a range of initiatives to prevent alcohol harm
  • For young students attending secondary schools, disseminate ‘Know the Score’ Senior Cycle SPHE & ‘Healthy Choices’ Junior Cycle SPHE curriculum in schools and Information for Parents Booklet on How to Talk to your Children about Drugs and Alcohol
  • Implementation of a 3-year Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention plan
  • Povision of capacity-building and support for evidence-informed community initiatives

4. Inform and empower the population

Be the go-to, authoritative, and evidence-based resource for information on alcohol, and tackle social and cultural norms through effective communication strategies.

5. Identify and respond to harmful or dependent alcohol use

Build capacity within services to respond to harmful alcohol use through screening and early intervention, deliver staff education and support initiatives to effectively respond to alcohol harm, scope the development of online/digital interventions, and seek resources to expand the availability and range of alcohol services.

6. Develop and use research and evidence

Harness existing data sources and support the development and use of new data and evidence to inform policy and service delivery. launch videos

Social media resources


Useful Links

HSE Position on Prevention of FASD (PDF, 220 KB, 9 pages)

Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (RARHA) EU

WHO Action Plan on Alcohol (PDF, 1.04 MB, 37 pages)

EMCCDA Prevention Document

Public Health Alcohol Act 2018

National Substance Misuse Strategy 2012

Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery

Hidden Harm Strategic Statement (PDF, 728 KB, 50 KB)

Hidden Harm Practice Guide

Making Every Contact Count

SAOR (PDF, 1.29 KB, 126 KB)