The aim of this paper is to describe the context of alcohol use and problems in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the environmental context for alcohol‐related policy, drinking trends, harm and policy and to systematically review policies implemented to reduce alcohol‐related burden.
LAC‐based studies relating to the existence and effects of public health‐oriented alcohol policies are described. The review is informed by a literature search of alcohol policies in LAC in English and in Spanish in several platforms, and in publications of international organisations, including grey and scientific literature.
Only 30 documents measuring policy impact were identified for the policy analysis. Most of the policies are focused on brief interventions, and most have little evidence on their effectiveness. Alcohol taxation and drink‐driving policies appear to have the highest impact if enforcement is adequately performed.
Discussion and Conclusions
The studies reviewed indicate a pattern of modelling policy interventions but implementing only a few, and a paucity of sustained or systematic evaluations. Although patterns of use indicate alcohol use should be a major public health priority, only a few countries in LAC have a national policy or plan dedicated to alcohol, representing a low political commitment to considering alcohol as a public health priority.