Preventing alcohol abuse and alcoholism

Alcohol is psychologically and physically addictive. Frequent drinking can lead to alcoholism. The government tries to prevent alcohol abuse and alcoholism through laws and public awareness.

Laws to prevent alcohol abuse and alcoholism

There are several laws governing alcohol and alcohol consumption. The Licensing and Catering Act sets rules about where alcohol may be sold, and prohibits the sale of alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.

Local authorities check compliance with the Licensing and Catering Act.

Besides the Licensing and Catering Act, there are other rules and regulations on alcohol use too:

  • The Criminal Code says that it is a criminal offence to be drunk in public and to disturb the public order while intoxicated.
  • The Criminal Code also says that it is a criminal offence to serve alcohol to someone who is obviously drunk.
  • The Road Traffic Act sets limits for alcohol in the blood for drivers. The limit is 0.05% for drivers with a regular driving licence, and 0.02% for new drivers.
  • The Media Act does not allow alcohol commercials to be broadcast on television and radio between 6.00 and 21.00.

Awareness campaigns about alcohol use

The government runs campaigns to educate young people about alcohol abuse and alcoholism, and to prevent underage drinking. The aim of the NIX18 campaign is to reinforce the social norm that people don’t drink and smoke before they turn 18. The BOB campaign raises public awareness about not drinking and driving. The government also supports awareness campaigns at schools.

Awareness campaigns are aimed at:

  • preventing young people from drinking before they turn 18
  • preventing harmful alcohol consumption
  • preventing people from becoming psychologically or physically dependant on alcohol
  • reducing harm caused by alcohol abuse, such as public antisocial behaviour, domestic violence and traffic accidents.

Preventing alcoholism

It is important that people recognise the signs of alcoholism at an early stage. A doctor who suspects that a patient is drinking too much should refer the patient quickly to an appropriate care provider.