A report on “Alcohol Education and Its Effectiveness” by the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) focuses on the importance of education in addressing alcohol problems. The report demonstrates that targeted interventions based on realistic and defined goals, are effective in reducing the risk of harm, especially when conducted in partnership between the public and private sectors.
The report seeks answers to a central question - do education measures work? And the short answer is - yes, they can work, but some approaches show more promise than others.
The first lesson from the report is that targeted interventions for potentially “at-risk” populations, such as young people, pregnant women or native communities, more effectively raise awareness than broad programmes aimed at the population as a whole.
The second message, especially valid for young people, is that these interventions are most successful when they involve families, peers and reach out to the broad community.
The report found that education needs to be relevant to people’s lives. It needs to be able to relate to the advice you are given. Attitudes, especially among young people, strongly influence whether education is effective.
Successful alcohol education combines formal approaches with informal influences. It begins with defined and realistic goals that are targeted to a well defined audience. Like any measure, education cannot stand on its own. Alcohol education is part of the larger picture along with legislation, enforcement and other policy and prevention efforts