• Ryan Calleja Urry

How Malta's Anti-Alcohol Policy Is Fighting The 3 Million-A-Year Global Death Rate 🍺 ☠️




A worldwide issue, and one that should be addressed for what it is, a drug.


Alcohol contributes towards domestic abuse, drunk driving, crime, violence and disease to name just a few issues. This is a contrast to cigarettes, which apart from passive smoking only harm the smoker, whereas alcohol tends to cause damage to society as a whole.



Drinking Stats In Malta & The Rest Of Europe



According to WHO, Malta consumes an average of seven litres of pure alcohol each year. Fortunately, this is far beneath Europe's average which is almost as high as 11 litres. It's also far below the Lithuanians and Russians, who score an average of over 15 litres of pure alcohol per person each year. Geez Russia.


On a global level, Europe is actually the continent with the highest rate of alcohol consumption per head. Surprisingly enough though, Malta is ranked as 43 out of 53 in terms of consumption, and somehow, Italy is at number 53 as the EU state with the lowest amount of consumption - so much for all those vineyards eh?



There is some bad news though, the most worrying aspect of WHO's study concerns the abuse of alcohol among Maltese 16-year olds, where misuse appears to be rampant. You might think that this is to be expected, but keep in mind that Malta had ranked 2nd among 36 countries for binge-drinking in a survey conducted in 2011. A very significant & worrying stat.




How Malta Is Fighting Alcohol Abuse


Alcohol is the most commonly abused drug, however, awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse is low when compared to that of other drugs. Thankfully though, It now seems that public policymakers are prepared to tackle this issue with the seriousness it deserves.


Below are a number of steps that the Maltese National Alcohol Policy is set to enforce and implement between the years of 2018 and 2023. There are 23 "action items" in total, the below are a small selection of the most interesting initiatives.



Actions 1, 3 & 6: Enforce legislation to limit the sale of alcohol to minors, enforce harsher penalties against sellers found breaking the law, prohibit the sale of t-shirts or caps to minors that have alcohol-related imagery featured prominently.


Action 14: Promoting good practices such as ensuring the verification of legal age and refraining from serving the intoxicated.


Action 20: Reduce BAC from 0.8g/l to 0.5g/l for all standard drivers.


Action 21 & 22: Work to ensure that penalties for drink driving offences are increased, and introduce mandatory assessment, education and treatment for drink

driving offenders.


Action 23: Further promote and encourage the concept of “designated driver”

whereby amongst a group of friends driving together to an event, one takes it in

turn not to drink prior to or at the event and thus drive the group safely to and

from the event.



If you'd like to read the policy in full, you can find it here.





If you think you might have a problem, or want to learn ways of cutting down on your alcohol consumption, please call +356 2340 3988 or email health-wellness@um.edu.mt


The health and wellness centre is located at the University of Malta, do yourself a favour and seek help from trained professionals.