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Alcohol Abuse Must be solved with Action

and disorder.

She said, "We all know what needs to be done and the time for talking needs to turn to action."

Dr Bruce Ritson, who chairs SHAAP, insisted that as well as discussing alcohol issues, the group would push for action. "If we thought this was just about talking we would not be forming this group," he said.

"One of our first tasks will be to raise awareness of the impact of alcohol on health. Then we will push for public and political awareness of the steps that might be used to reduce alcohol-related problems."

Gillian Bell, from Alcohol Focus Scotland, commented that pricing and taxation was only one way of tackling alcohol abuse.

She said: "There are a whole range of things to be done. Several measures to curb alcohol abuse have been tried across Europe including taxation. While this has led to lower levels of binge-drinking, critics say it just means drinkers pay more for their drinks.

In addition experts also believe a major problem is that earnings have risen faster than alcohol prices, and people have rising amounts of disposable income.

In Scotland alone statistics show that one in four men and one in ten women in Scotland drink at levels hazardous to health. Alcohol-related problems have been estimated to cost Scotland more than £1 billion a year.

Hospital admissions for high levels of intoxication increased by 40 per cent for men and 30 per cent for women between 1996 and 2004. In 2004 1,113 children and teenagers were admitted to hospital with serious drink-related illnesses.


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