The Social Determinants of Alcohol Use & Alcohol-related Problems

June 2015

There is growing interest in the issue of inequity in society in general, and particularly in relation to health. This interest extends to the relationship between inequity and alcohol use and strategies to address alcohol-related problems.

As one of few investigations examining this important issue, NCETA was commissioned by VicHealth in February 2014 to review the current evidence base regarding the social determinants of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related health outcomes, and identify promising approaches for promoting equity. A detailed report was completed in May 2014 that included an overview of:

  • The role social determinants play in shaping health behaviours and outcomes (including alcohol consumption)
  • Patterns of alcohol consumption and associated harms in Australia, and the inequities apparent therein
  • Factors which influence alcohol consumption and associated harms, including demographic characteristics and environmental factors
  • Best practice or promising approaches to reducing inequity in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related health outcomes
  • Knowledge gaps and suggestions for future research.

That report was subsequently adapted into a journal article entitled ‘Addressing inequities in alcohol consumption and related harms’, which is in press in the journal, Health Promotion International.

The original NCETA report provided to VicHealth has additionally been synthesised by VicHealth into a shorter summary document, for use by practitioners and policy makers wanting to incorporate an equity focus into their work.

All three documents from this important program of work on the relationship between alcohol and inequity will be publically available in June 2015 and accessible from the NCETA website.