Shock report highlights booze problem

  • Post category:News


A new Government report has again highlighted the growing problem of alcohol abuse in Ireland.

The report, launched by Minister for State at the Department of Health Roisin Shortall, shows that approximately 20% of those surveyed experienced some form of harm as a result of their drinking, with men twice as likely as women to report harm.

Harm as a result of the drinking of others was experienced by 27%.The report showed that 58% of adults are drinking at harmful levels.

Among the otherr findings were:

 · 87% of adults aged 18-64 years consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months.
 · Almost 30% of current drinkers consumed alcohol in a harmful pattern at least once a week.
 · Over half of current drinkers engage in binge drinking at least once a month (72% of 18-24 year olds).
 · 73% of those aged 18-24 years drank at least five standard drinks and 31% consume at least nine standard drinks per drinking occasion.
 · Across all age groups, men drink more frequently, drink more on one single occasion and engage in more harmful drinking than women.

“Instances involving excessive consumption of alcohol over the summer period, leading to anti-social behaviour and violence at large public events, are among the latest overt illustrations of the problem. ” Minister Shortall said.

“The subsequent public reaction to such events may indicate that such blatant public drunkenness and negative behaviour can no longer be tolerated by the vast majority of our people. Increased focus on the availability of cheap alcohol, excessive drinking and associated anti-social behaviour is awakening us to the realities of the situation and the need to do something about it,” she added.

The report, Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Related Harm in Ireland, was published by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD)

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, said following the publication of the report,   the Government must make its Action Plan on Alcohol a priority.

The group stressed that the figures showed almost three out of every five Irish drinkers are drinking at harmful levels.

The NACD survey also confirmed the severity of our binge drinking problems, with 52% of all respondents (64% of men and 39% of women) having engaged in ‘risky single occasion drinking’ at least once per month in the year prior to the survey. Binge drinking was most common among 18 to 24-year-olds, with 72% of respondents in that age group engaging in binge drinking at least once a month.

“The results of this survey confirm what we have already learned from many previous reports about our drinking habits and should also not be surprising when you consider that alcohol-related harm is costing us an estimated  €3.7 billion a year in this country, and that ’s before you even consider the many human costs, ” said Director of Alcohol Action Ireland Fiona Ryan.

The Department of Health produced the Action Plan on Alcohol – based on the recommendations of the Steering Group Report on the National Substance Misuse Strategy  – earlier this year.

It recommends that a minimum price for alcohol be introduced as well as a number of restrictions on the alcohol marketing.

However, it has yet to be considered by the Cabinet.