Aims A literature review of existing research on the prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and availability of alcohol interventions in Europe was conducted. The review also explored what is known about the gap between need and provision of alcohol interventions in Europe.
Methods The review search strategy included: (i) descriptive studies of alcohol intervention systems in Europe; (ii) studies of alcohol service provision in Europe; and (iii) studies of prevalence of AUD and alcohol needs assessment in Europe.
Results Europe has a relatively high level of alcohol consumption and the resulting disabilities are the highest in the world. Most research on implementation of alcohol interventions in Europe has been restricted to screening and brief interventions. Alcohol needs assessment methodology has been developed but has not been applied in comparative studies across countries in Europe.
Conclusions This review points to key gaps in knowledge related to alcohol interventions in Europe. There is a lack of comparative data on variations in alcohol treatment systems across European countries and there is also a lack of comparative data on the prevalence of alcohol use disorders across European countries and the relative gap between need and access to treatment. The forthcoming Alcohol Measures for Public Health Research Alliance (AMPHORA) research project work package on ‘Early identification and treatment’ aims to address these gaps.