A global comparison by the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that alcohol consumption is the highest in a region defined as the EU, Norway and Switzerland, with the average consumption per capita being twice as highs as the global average.
Slovenia stands out even in this region of above-average drinkers. "Between 2003 and 2014 Slovenia had the highest alcohol consumption in the region and in the EU, measured in per capita consumption of litres of pure alcohol," Nina Pirnat, director of the National Public Health Institute (NIJZ), said at a press conference on Thursday.
Moreover, a 2016 study entitled Health-Related Life Style in Slovenia showed an increase in people who drink at least once a month, which is cause for concern, according to Pirnat.
To fight the effects that alcoholism has on health, families and society in general, NIJZ has launched the SOPA campaign, which is Slovenian acronym for Together for Responsible Attitude to Alcohol.
The project will run until 2020, after which its steering committee hopes to implement SOPA measures in Slovenia's public health care system.
This will require additional training of health care staff, from nurses and GPs, to gynaecologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, ER doctors and oncologists, among others.
The project aims to include about 9,000 individuals, projecting success in 540 cases, which means that 540 individuals included will drink less or become abstinent after participating in the project.