Towards a National Alcohol Policy
The purpose of a National Alcohol Policy is to prevent harmful drinking and alcohol related issues through the provision of industry regulation and community education. A national policy will support public health, safety and the overall wellbeing of the country.
In 2014, 1800 people (1081 males and 719 females) in Cambodia completed a survey detailing the current trends relating to alcohol consumption. The survey sought to identify and understand the current inclinations towards alcohol in Cambodia and to assess the community’s understanding of the negative health and social effects that excessive use of alcohol can lead to.
Did you know alcohol consumption is among the five leading risk factors for death and disability, and the leading cause of death and disability for males aged 15 to 24 in almost every region of the world? Find out more in the ‘Seoul Declaration’ which acts as an international call to action - Available here.
The Seoul Declaration led to a national workshop facilitated by the PDP-Center and Ministry of Health, held in Phnom Penh in 2014 - 'The Mechanism Towards Building a National Policy to Manage Alcohol'.
Summary of Draft Framework
PDP-Center Draft National Alcohol Policy 2013 - Available here.
Alcohol policy advocacy success stories!
1. Mr. Sung Yoeun is a 68-year-old farmer living in Tomnob Chhrey Village, Toek Thla Commune, Seresouphon Municipality, Banteay Meanchey Province. He has 7 children, 3 of which are now married. The high rates of alcohol Mr. Yoeun consumed led to poor health and illness, financial pressures, family conflict and incidents of domestic violence. He received information related to the negative impact of alcohol from the radio and later attended PDP-Center training. Following this Mr. Sung Yoeun started reducing his alcohol consumption and in 2013 quit drinking. Living a sober life has led his health to improved dramatically – even going out fishing! His wife stated, ‘I am very proud and happy about my husband’s change in attitude. This is what every family needs’.
2. Mr. Chab Hat is 57 years old, Chief of Pothi Khoeun Village, Boeng Kantout Commune, Krakor District, Pursat Province. Addicted to alcohol, Mr. Hat lost the respect of the community, was unable to provide for his family, including 3 children, and had significant health problems. In 2014 Mr. Hat attended training led by the PDP-Center on the harmful effects of alcohol and measures for intervention. Prior to this, Mr. Hat had little to no understanding on the impact of addiction. Attending the training changed his life, leading to Mr. Hat becoming sober. Using his experiences to help others in need, Mr. Hat works closely with local community members to address individual and community concerns of alcoholism. He commented, ‘I am thankful PDP-Center brought this activity to our community. If I didn’t participate I wouldn’t know how to quit alcohol. I really appreciate it’.
3. Mr. Nhen Ra age 48 lives in Svay Chek Village, Svay Chek Commune, Romdoul District, Svay Rieg Province. He and his wife have 4 children. Mr. Ra started drinking at age 23. Excessive drinking over a prolonged period caused Mr. Ra constant health problems and increasing financial burden. He admits to treating his wife poorly when under the influence, including incidents of domestic violence. When Mr. Ra attended training by the PDP-Center he first thought it was funny, thinking there was no way he or others would stop drinking as there is so much advertising! However training helped him understand the health and social implications of alcohol including the contribution to traffic accidents, and links to domestic violence, which led him to reflect on his life and reduce his drinking. He thanks the PDP-Center for helping him become a new person.
4. Mr. Soun Yen is a farmer and carpenter, living in Slor Kram Village, Sangkat Wat Tamoem, Battambang Province. He described drinking alcohol as a daily habit, spending the family’s income on alcohol and subsequent medical treatment. He participated in door-to-door outreach facilitated by the PDP-Center. He has taken steps to reduce his drinking and has benefited from improved family relations and increased income. He has also noticed other community members doing the same, commenting on increasing awareness of health risks and commune law. Mr. Yen advocates for more education throughout the country.
I. Reducing alcohol consumption in funeral ceremonies, Svay Rieng Province
II. The effectiveness of CAN in Kampong Ampil Commune, Svay Rieng Province
III. Women lead community reduction of alcohol consumption, Phnom Penh Province
IV. Stopping drinking for family happiness, Siem Reap Province
V. Youth work to reduce alcohol consumption in the community, Banteay Meanchey Province
VI. Alcohol root is pulled out, Svay Rieng Province