Alcohol Policy and Evidence

Call for papers for: Drugs and Alcohol Today


Guest Editors:

Alfred Uhl
Sigmund Freud Private University (SFU)
Austrian Public Health Institute (GOEG)
[email protected]

Julian Strizek
Austrian Public Health Institute (GOEG)
[email protected]



The dominant scientific and policy discourse on alcohol policy is presently focused on the belief that there are simple and scientifically well-founded approaches to justify and implement successful alcohol policies in Europe. This discourse neglects two aspects. Firstly, that political decisions cannot rely primarily on factual evidence, but always require fundamental ethical decisions dependent on culture. Secondly, interpretations based primarily on observational studies are generally much less solid than the authors explicitly claim or at least imply.

This issue will examine common beliefs and deductions relevant to the discourse on alcohol policy from different perspectives and critically scrutinize them by considering further empirical facts and by reflecting additional logical aspects of the matter. There is a clear mainstream discourse in this field; content which challenges or complements this discourse from other perspectives is a valuable addition to the scientific process. The elaboration of additional aspects and antitheses to current theses on alcohol policy should significantly support the development of a meaningful synthesis.


We welcome submissions to this special issue. Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Inadequate assessment of harm to others due to alcohol use
  • Logical questions arising when counting the number of deaths caused by excessive alcohol consumption
  • How ideology and cultural attitudes determine which alcohol policies are supported.
  • Sex differences in relation to alcohol use and the impact of alcohol on individuals.
  • Alcohol prevention trapped between paternalism and the respect for the human right to decide autonomously how to shape one’s own life
  • Abstinence orientation and controlled drinking - incompatible goals or useful perspectives for diversified treatment approaches?
  • Is the exploitation of research results for advocacy purposes compatible with the unbiased search for scientific truth?
  • The meaning of the J-shaped curve
  • Treatment lag in the field of alcohol disorder


Deadline and Submission Details

The submission deadline for all papers is 15 May 2020
The publication date of this special issue is towards the end of 2020

To submit your research, please visit ScholarOne manuscripts portal.
To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit the journal's page.