Alcohol harm reduction a priority
Posted on 06 Dec 2017
Alcohol harm reduction a priority
Renewed efforts by the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (Aware.org) to reduce alcohol related harm in South Africa have been well received by its stakeholders, members and the media. With the re-launch of the organisation that took place on Thursday 30 November 2017 in the heart of Johannesburg, the need to create a national culture of responsible drinking has realigned efforts to create a generation of South Africans that is free from alcohol abuse.

The commitment to creating this generation, took the form of a relaunch of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA) into the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (Aware.org). The rebranding symbolises the intrinsic purpose of the Aware.org to drive collective efforts focused on creating a change in the country’s drinking behaviour.

‘As a uniquely new organisation, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education or Aware.org, we accept that we cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results. We accept that we have a pivotal part to play in building and nurturing an alcohol harm-free South Africa. This will allow us to not lose another generation of South Africans to the scourge of alcohol abuse,’ said Ingrid Louw, CEO of the Aware.org.

Aware.org is well placed to re-write the narrative of alcohol abuse and misuse in this country. Its role is to support business and society to achieve deep and sustainable social change for the greater good. Through the adoption of an evidence based approach, the work being done will not only bring South Africa closer to global responses as it will have direct implications for national drinking practices as well as the public’s responsiveness to initiatives.

‘Many of us do not consider ourselves alcohol abusers and yet alcohol responsibility and education remains a necessary priority in South Africa. As Aware.org we understand that drinking responsibly is subjective as the parameters of this often come down to an individual’s preferences and right to choose. In partnership with the Road Traffic Management Co-operation (RTMC), our #MakeOneChange festive campaign will encourage the nation to review its drinking patterns in social and private settings. It is in these instances when alcohol abuse takes place even with those individuals who are not habitual drinkers,’ continued Louw.

This co-ordinated and collaborative effort is supported by Aware.org members who recognise the importance of creating a culture of responsible drinking. The nation will be educated about how much they drink and how they can do so responsibly.

‘This multi-stakeholder approach makes it imperative to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards a single goal. We call upon our members and stakeholders here today to work with us. This is a journey that will see us not only disrupting the current trends but also turning the tide on alcohol abuse and misuse. it will also make us all responsible for the better!’ concluded Louw.