Sunday, 25 March 2012

Increased alcohol prices will NOT help dependent drinkers, warns expert

Raising the price of alcohol will not change the behaviour of dependant drinkers warns Alastair Mordey, a specialist in alcohol and drug addiction. He believes while Government plans announced today may deter social drinkers, creating minimum alcohol price caps will not deter an addict.

“If the UK Government is going to raise alcohol prices it also needs to provide support to the addicts that will remain undeterred by these increased prices. The negative impact will be more on the families and dependants of addicts rather than the addicts themselves.”

Mordey, Programme Director at The Cabin, a world-class drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre based in Thailand, is facing unprecedented levels of demand from the UK for its services.

“The patients we have had here at The Cabin from the UK would never have been deterred by drunk tanks or booze buses. Binge drinkers are just part of the problem. We must also consider the hidden and high functioning alcoholics in UK society, who need direct support from the Government in terms of rehabilitation.

"There are all these services for down and outs/ violent binge drinkers but what about the middle class alcoholic who pays his taxes? No booze buses, drunk tanks or police in hospitals are going to change the lives of the high functioning alcoholic and their families. These people can only be saved through programmes such as we offer at The Cabin.”

Of the £5.7 billion the Government receives from alcohol taxation, £2.7 billion is spent by the NHS to combat alcoholism.

Alastair said: “Perhaps the Government needs to consider the benefits of treatment and the positive long term effects alongside the negative effects of a hike in prices.”

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