The Gazette dropped through the letterbox this evening, carrying a front page article highlighting the alarming number of county hospital A & E admissions relating to alcohol (12 a day in 2008/09). Our county represents one of the worst in the UK in terms of binge drinking.
Paul Brown, Director of CADAS, commented that these rates will continue to rise until we see a change in drinking culture, and I think he's right. Paul is a lot better informed than most people on the ground, and he sees first hand the relative damage caused by alcohol when compared to illegal drugs. He comments on the younger age groups now dying due to cirrhosis of the liver - something unheard of 20 years ago. The drinks industry has its part to play in these statistics, of course - the last 20 years have seen strong lobbying of successive governments and the media to destroy any reasonable debate on the relative harm caused by alcohol or drugs of various types - if you're interested to read just how the UK media and the law concerning drugs was changed by this lobbying during the 1990's, get hold of a copy of "Ecstasy Reconsidered", by Nicholas Saunders. Available on Amazon, and a very good read indeed.
The government's response to the growing public concern is to increase the price of alcohol in an attempt to reduce demand.
In the meantime, young people will die, families will be affected, and the drinks industry will continue to thrive, I suspect.
Sea kayaking, hill walking, a bit of climbing and just taken up sailing.
Been in business in Carlisle for around 20 years (former Managing Director of Jack Wolfskin Ltd.), and a keen believer...