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[Medical Independent] Damaging effects of alcohol abuse seen by GPs every day. (18 Apr 2012)

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Alcohol abuse increases violence in the community and the home and has lead to an unprecedented increase in liver disease here the ICGP has said

In a statement supporting the Government's intentions to legislate to reduce the level of alcohol abuse in Ireland, Dr Iain Morrison, of the ICGP said the organisation supports any measures, which may reduce the very high levels of excess alcohol consumption here, and the damage this causes.

The College highlighted the evidence that the adolescent brain deals with alcohol differently to the adult brain, making it more vulnerable to memory loss and impairment as a result of alcohol binges.

In terms of our adolescents, Dr Morrison pointed out that binge drinking among Irish 15-16 year-olds is the third highest in Europe, with an average of €20 a week spent by teenagers on alcohol.

"We need to remember that alcohol, while pleasurable when drunk in moderation, is also a toxin that is damaging to the brains of adolescents,” said Dr Morrison.

“It is a toxin which we in Ireland have abused as a population. We consume one-fifth more alcohol in Ireland than the European average, and we as family doctors see the adverse effects of this every day in our clinics."

"We see the physical and psychological effects, on individuals and families. The effects are not just on the individual but on the spouses, children and relatives of the drinker," said Dr Morrison. "The more people drink, the more physical harm they cause, to themselves and others."

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