Institute of Mental Health (IMH), with the support from the Association of Brewers and Candy Makers of Serbia, has introduced the first «Guide for responsible drinking». It is a unique publication in this part of Europe. The IMH has a long standing collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), and this Guide is one more product of that interaction. The goal of the Guide is alcoholism prevention, lowering the negative effects of alcohol consumption and the improvement of mental health of citizens.
«Alcohol is an integral part of Serbian tradition and culture. It is obvious that Serbs love alcohol. Unfortunately it is also obvious that they don’t know «how to drink». Instead of alcohol being a catalyst of good mood and pleasure, it often becomes a trigger for aggressive behavior, immoral actions and life threatening activities. » prim. dr Ivica Mladenovic, head of the Addiction Treatment Clinic and editor of the Guide. He also added: «Alcoholism is the most widespread socio-medical illness. Alcohol consumption is the leading cause of death in young people age 15 to 29. »
Promoting «low risk alcohol consumption» is already an established practice in many parts of the world. Following the modern trends, a team of specialists from the Institute of Mental health in Belgrade has started a campaign «Responsible drinking in Serbia». Its goal is to introduce the public with the notion of «socially acceptable drinking». It is supposed to define the quantities and the style of drinking that will not stop the person from enjoying drinking.
«As a national institution for alcoholism, the Addiction Treatment Clinic of the IMH is recognized for the quality of treatment it provides to patients. Since the treatment is based on a socio-psychiatric approach in which besides the patient a great deal of emphasis is put on the family and the society as a whole, we decided to make another step in our work and to promote «low risk alcohol consumption» as the ideal approach to «diminishing damage» and prevention of alcoholism in Serbia.» Head of IMH prof. dr Dusica Lecic Tosevski.
Responsible alcohol consumption is supported by leading beer producers in Serbia, Apatinska pivara, Carlsberg Serbia and Heineken Serbia. They helped the printing of the Guide. In the name of the Association of Brewers and Candy Makers of Serbia the president Miodrag Maksimovic said that the most important goal of beer producers is maintaining the high quality of the product, but that the job doesn’t end there. «Our mission is to educate the consumers about the importance of moderate and responsible drinking. Beer producers, as well as the members of the Association have strict self regulations, going beyond the word of law. In the name of Apatinska pivara, Carlsberg and Heineken, as socially responsible companies, I can say that it has been our pleasure to join this project and support the publication of the Guide. By doing this we continue to acknowledge the need for the public to be aware of the necessity for responsible and moderate consumption of alcohol. »
About the project «Responsible drinking in Serbia»
Project of the IMH «Responsible drinking in Serbia» is a pilot project, set on a one year term. More and more it is becoming obvious that it must become a permanent activity in our country for it to produce desirable, long lasting results.
In the following months IMH will organize public promotions of the Guide, which is designed for the widest possible audience in Serbia. During these events, free copies of the Guide will be given out. In the first part of the promotion, lectures in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac are planned.
IMH owes special gratitude to sponsors, big producers and distributors of alcoholic beverages who recognized the importance of the project and supported the printing of the Guide – Apatinska pivara, Carlsberg Serbia and Heineken Serbia.
Institute of Mental Health