Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips has backed calls for tougher measures to tackle the high rates of alcohol consumption in the UK, after a major international study highlighted the rising problem.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) comparison of 40 countries has ranked the UK as the 11th heaviest drinking nation, with consumption rising over the 20 years studied in the report, bucking the general trend of decline.
To tackle problem drinking, OECD economist Mark Pearson believes the UK should consider taking tougher steps such as introducing minimum pricing, banning sports sponsorship and clearer labelling.
Dr Phillips has long advocated the introduction of minimum pricing and insists the case for action is now stronger than ever.
He said: “The OECD report is a reminder that we have a major problem with alcohol and it really is time for the Government to get serious about introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol?
“Ask staff in casualty departments about the terrifying cost of alcohol misuse and they’ll confirm that access to cheap, super-strength booze causes so much misery.
“And it’s not just the high number of admissions to A&E departments. The figures speak for themselves. Fifty per cent of domestic violence cases are predicated by alcohol.
“A third of troubled families are troubled because of alcohol and a significant number of children brought into care because of parental misuse of alcohol. We really do need to tackle this problem now.”
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