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Alcohol Alcohol. 2014 May-Jun;49(3):356-62. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agt142. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

An exploration of the alcohol policy environment in post-conflict countries.

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  • 1Corresponding author.



Populations in countries emerging from armed conflict may have elevated levels of harmful alcohol use due to risk factors such as trauma exposure, increased daily stressors, elevated levels of mental health disorders, urbanization, and weak alcohol control policies and institutions. This study explores the challenges and opportunities for strengthening alcohol control policies in post-conflict countries.


Exploratory qualitative approach: experts (from United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and independent consultants) selected on the basis of their experience were interviewed. Thematic analysis identified key emergent themes.


Perceived challenges to addressing harmful alcohol use in post-conflict countries included: lack of priority and recognition among key actors; limited resources and capacity, including in policy enforcement; and the role of the alcohol industry. Perceived opportunities included: increasing recognition of the harmful health and social effects of alcohol globally; sharing information, experience, and expertise to more effectively strengthen alcohol control policies; and collecting better data to advocate and inform stronger alcohol policies.


This exploratory study provides a starting point to better understand the alcohol policy environment in post-conflict settings but considerably more research is required.

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