Home > Doctor was accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over alcohol.

[Irish Medical Times] , Mudiwa, Lloyd Doctor was accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over alcohol. (25 Apr 2012)

External website: http://www.imt.ie/news/latest-news/2012/04/doctor-...

A leading doctor has confessed to using alcohol in an unhealthy manner in the past and told his colleagues of how some of his friends accused him of hypocrisy when he spoke out against alcohol abuse.

Addressing a scientific session at the recent IMO AGM in Killarney, Dr Bobby Smyth, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Drug Treatment Centre Board in Dublin, told his colleagues: “As doctors, we need to be more and more vocal on this; we understand the health consequences and at least we have a degree of credibility.”

Dr Smyth added: “Friends regularly point to myself. I think it causes most of us doctors to feel a bit awkward. We feel we can’t get preachy about this. The truth is, most adults have used alcohol in an unhealthy manner, and most doctors probably do; I know I have in the past and I probably will again in the future. But that doesn’t change the fact that alcohol is bad news for you.

“I have long since taken the view that there is a difference between irony and being a hypocrite and hopefully I am just on the side of being ironic.”

He told attendees in Killarney that Irish adolescents were now beginning their drinking two-to-three years earlier than the last generation had done and ran the risk of turning into “one-trick ponies”. While alcohol increased confidence, it reduced competence in other areas and was a major driver of deaths from both accidents and suicides, Dr Smyth said.

Youths questioned in a recent survey had also said they drank to ‘blank-out’ things.


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