Table 4

Opportunities for interventions and public policy to address alcohol use by children

  • Multidisciplinary interventions are needed across the continuum of childhood alcohol drinking, spanning initiation of use, problematic use, and clinical alcohol use disorder.

  • Family-based and school-based interventions are needed to encompass the complex and contextual determinants of childhood alcohol use, including parenting, social support and coping skills.

  • Innovative alternatives need to be developed for resource-constrained settings, where access to treatment is limited.

  • The WHO’s ‘best buys’ provide guidance on the most cost-effective policies and strategies to prevent harmful alcohol use3:

    • Regulate the availability of alcohol, including defining and enforcing a minimum legal drinking age and enforce bans on selling alcohol in schools and at events that attract children.

    • Restrict and enforce bans on marketing of products that contain alcohol, including on social media and internet-based advertising.

    • Increase taxes on alcohol and regulate prices.