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Reports Highlight Need for Urgent Action on Problem Drinking

by VR Sreeraman on September 22, 2009 at 2:11 PM
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 Reports Highlight Need for Urgent Action on Problem Drinking

Two new reports demonstrate the need for a comprehensive set of measures to be put in place to combat problem drinking, AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today.

The British Medical Association (BMA) recently released an expert report: "Under the

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Influence: The damaging effect of alcohol on young people".

The report coincides with the release today of research by The National Drug Research

Institute (NDRI) which shows that risky alcohol consumption caused the death of 32,696
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Australians in the 10 years from 1996 to 2005, and 813,072 Australians were hospitalised due to alcohol-caused injury and disease over the same period. This is a 30% rise in alcohol-caused injury and disease in ten years, and the trend is set to continue, according to NDRI.

The BMA report concludes that: "alcohol marketing communications have a powerful effect on young people and are independently linked with the onset, amount, and continuance of their drinking".

Dr Pesce said the BMA report backed several AMA recommendations designed to address dangerous levels of alcohol consumption in Australia, including imposing a minimum price level for alcohol drinks and limiting the geographical density of licensed premises.

"The continued rise in preventable harms and injuries from alcohol abuse over the last decade is very disturbing and should be a big reality check for the Australian government and the community," Dr Pesce said.

"The AMA believes that there are particular measures that the government can implement easily and immediately to turn back the rising tide of alcohol-related harm.

"All targeted marketing of alcohol products to adolescents and teenagers should be prohibited, along with sponsorship of sporting events by alcohol manufacturers.

"The taxation of alcoholic beverages should be tied to the alcohol volume of the beverages, so that high alcohol drinks are more out of reach to young people"

Source: AMA
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