North South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group

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Alcohol-related harm is a critical public health concern across the island of Ireland. Strategies in both jurisdictions highlight the need for cross-departmental and cross-sectoral engagement to reduce alcohol consumption and harms. In addition, the Steering Group Report on a National a Substance Misuse Strategy makes a specific recommendation to strengthen collaboration and coordination on alcohol on a North-South basis.

In the context of this policy mandate, Chief Medical Officers in both jurisdictions requested that the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH) facilitate enhanced North-South collaborative working on alcohol. A North-South Alcohol Policy Advisory Group was established in late 2012

Many benefits can be accrued through enhanced North-South cooperation on alcohol policies and programmes including:

  • Mutually beneficial learning through sharing of ideas and experience 
  • The development of key relationships for sharing knowledge and access to knowledge networks 
  • Development of united and strong cross-jurisdictional messages to influence policy in favour of health and the reduction of alcohol-related harm on the island
  • Economies of scale in the coordinated roll-out of programmes, evaluations and media campaigns
  • Harmonised approaches to cross-border issues such as alcohol pricing and legislation
  • Opportunities to support implementation of successful programmes from one jurisdiction in another and compare different policy approaches
  • Enhanced capacity to participate in wider European and global work on alcohol including research applications. 

The terms of reference of the NSAPAG can be accessed here.

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