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Mongan, Deirdre (2007) Our love affair with alcohol. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 22, Summer 2007, p. 9.

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A public seminar, ‘Alcohol: Is our love affair with alcohol causing more pleasure or pain?’,  was held by the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) on 19 April 2007.  

Dr Jim Kiely, chief medical officer with the Department of Health and Children, stated that the recommendations of the Strategic Task Force on Alcohol had not been introduced in spite of public support for changes in alcohol policy. 

Marion Rackard, executive director of Alcohol Action Ireland, said there is not equal access to treatment services around the country for people with alcohol problems or their families.  She said that alcohol was too easily available and too cheap, and there was too much tolerance for drunkenness.  She highlighted the need for a National Alcohol Strategy and the political will to tackle the problem of alcohol misuse in Ireland. 

Dr Declan Bedford of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at RCPI spoke of the connection between suicide and alcohol consumption and said that 90% of suicides among under-30s were found to have alcohol in their blood and 58% had double the legal driving limit.  In addition, 38% of road fatalities were alcohol related and every eighth new patient attending Accident and Emergency was there because of an alcohol-related injury.  He also said that the recommendations of the task force needed to be implemented urgently and supported measures to increase alcohol taxation, decrease availability and reduce the exposure of children to advertising, sponsorship and promotions.  However, he stressed that strong local and political leadership was necessary to achieve this. 

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