Alcohol and Homicide in Europe

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter is a literature review of what we know and do not know about the relationship between alcohol consumption and homicide in Europe. The chapter is based on previous research (mainly time-series analysis) and books on the topic, as well as reports from the European Union and WHO. It will also present some recent data on levels of consumption in nations, homicide rates, and different drinking patterns and beverage preferences across European countries. The main conclusion is that alcohol consumption is an important factor when we wish to explain changes in homicide rates over time. Several time-series analyses of aggregate-level data have demonstrated that an increase in alcohol consumption is followed by an increase in homicide rates. Correspondingly, a reduction in homicides has been demonstrated in countries with sudden and large changes in alcohol consumption due to rationing, antialcohol campaigns, and strikes. The literature also supports that drinking patterns are of importance when studying the association between alcohol and homicide, i.e., the impact of changes in alcohol consumption tends to be stronger in countries with more detrimental drinking patterns. Policy strategies such as limiting the availability and increasing the price of alcohol combined with strategies to reduce the pattern of binge drinking are control measures that seem to have a significant potential for reducing the prevalence of heavy drinking episodes and thereby preventing homicides.

Keywords

Placebo Europe Explosive Boris Romania 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug ResearchOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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