Home > Psychiatrists say Northern Ireland plans for minimum price for alcohol could save lives

The Royal College of Psychiatrists. [The Royal College of Psychiatrists] Psychiatrists say Northern Ireland plans for minimum price for alcohol could save lives. (07 Mar 2011)

URL: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/press/pressreleases2011/n...

Introducing a minimum price for alcohol in Northern Ireland is an important step in the prevention of suicide and self-harm, as well as addressing wider health and social issues, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Northern Ireland has said.

Dr Philip McGarry, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Northern Ireland, welcomed the consultation into alcohol pricing launched today by Social Development Minister Alex Attwood and Health Minister Michael McGimpsey - but said the floor price must be set high enough to have a genuine impact on problem drinking.


Speaking at the launch, Dr McGarry said there are strong correlations between alcohol and mental health problems. "Psychiatrists see the effect of alcohol abuse on patients every day, and it’s clear this is exacerbated by irresponsible promotions that encourage people to drink more than they otherwise would," he said.


Dr McGarry said it is important the Northern Ireland Executive takes a tougher stance than England, where the Government plans to set a minimum price by imposing a ban on selling alcohol for less than the combined tax and duty paid for it, resulting in a minimum price of 31 pence per unit of beer and 28 pence per unit of cheap spirits. Medical professionals have said these price measures will do little to tackle the health problems caused by alcohol.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has called for a minimum price of 45 pence a unit, to put a floor under discount wars. This would have very little impact for moderate drinkers - increasing the average spend by about £10 a year - but would be a deterrent for young binge drinkers and people dependent on alcohol.

 

Item Type:News
Source:The Royal College of Psychiatrists
Date:7 March 2011
Corporate Creators:The Royal College of Psychiatrists
EndNote:View
Subjects:VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Effects and consequences

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