Alcohol Use Disorders (68) Stigma (6) Sources of reliable information for the general public

19 February, 2024

Dear HIFA colleagues,

I'd like to highlight a couple of questions from our first 2 weeks that are waiting for your answers (or comments):

"How can we, as a community, work towards destigmatizing alcohol use disorders and encourage a more informed and empathetic approach to addressing this challenge?" (Miriam Chickering, USA)

"What information is available for the individual with alcohol use disorder, their loved ones, and the general public? It's likely that many will first seek information online. What are the best sources of information?" (Neil Pakenham-Walsh, UK)

On the subject of stigma, Eduardo has emphasised the importance of language, for example using the term Alcohol Use Disorders and not alcoholism. The name of the main US body on AUD therefore seems anachronistic: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

It would be interesting also to learn about cultural and geographical determinants of stigma around Alcohol Use Disorders, and how these have shifted over time. Stigma is perhaps highest in countries with strict controls on alcohol, such as some Islamic countries, although presumably the numbers of people with AUD are much lower in such countries.

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: