J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2019 Aug;58(3):152-158. 10.4306/jknpa.2019.58.3.152.

Epidemiology of Alcohol Use Disorders and Alcohol Policy

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Uijeongbu, Korea. nplhk@catholic.ac.kr


Alcohol is a substance that has a negative impact on public health according to the various drinking patterns and amount consumed. Alcohol epidemiology covers an investigation of the prevalence of alcohol use disorders, high risk drinking behaviors, and level of consumption per capita. The epidemiologic data of alcohol is an important guide to develop evidence-based alcohol policies. The high rate of drinking among middle aged males and young females is the result of recent socio-economic changes in South Korea and aggressive marketing from the alcohol industry. The high rate of treatment among middle-aged men indicates that the treatment of alcoholism begins later. Regarding alcohol policy, restrictions on alcohol accessibility and advertisement, and brief intervention systems might help reduce alcohol problems. In addition, a continuum of care system needs to be established to provide timely appropriate treatment and rehabilitation services.


Alcohols; Alcohol use disorders; Epidemiology; Policy
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