Monday, February 21, 2011

Alcohol Gravest Threat To Society, Claims British Scientist

By and Richard Edwards

The minimum drinking age should be increased to 21 and the price of alcohol tripled in order to tackle what will soon be the "biggest killer" in modern society, claimed the sacked head of the government's drug advisory body.

Living dangerously! Pregnant women who drink also 
endanger the lives of their babies (pix: womenshealthcaretopics)

Professor David Nutt said that he had deliberately provoked a debate in order to force the government to curb the growing "time bomb" that is the abuse of alcohol.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph and a press conference, he said that the government's response to the problem had been "puny" and he needed to act to stop the "tidal wave" that is engulfing the country.
"When I say alcohol is more dangerous than ecstasy, cannabis and LSD, I mean it," said the former chairman of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
"The Government has to wake up to this time bomb and the health risks of alcohol. This whole row is about alcohol. I want parents to know 'alcohol will kill your kids, not ecstasy'."
He said he spoke out because ministers had repeatedly blocked attempts to put meaningful pricing controls on alcohol or increase the minimum drinking age.
Drinking poison and yet wanting to live!
Liver disease due to alcohol was likely to become the major public health problem in the next few years, overtaking heart disease as the biggest killer, he said.
That along with the numerous social problems and huge number of deaths on the roads caused by alcohol meant it was one of the greatest threats to modern society.
He said that while it would be impossible to make alcohol illegal retrospectively, it should be ranked as a class B drug along with cannabis.

He said alcohol was the biggest "gateway drug" to harder substances and increasing the minimum age from 18 to 21 would save numerous lives.
"A shifting of the starting age would also reduce the damage to brain and body and the likelihood of becoming dependent," he said.

"There are hundreds of kids lying in hospital beds waiting for transplants that will never come."

Prof Nutt said that the existing advisory body was "fatally flawed" and he would consider setting up a breakaway alternative of his own.

A supporter whom he refused to name had made a "pretty credible" offer to underwrite such a project to the tune of £150,000 a year, he said.

His comments came as the latest Home Office performance figures showed that more than one in four people believe that alcohol is blighting their community.

Child abuse! 

A survey of every police force area in England and Wales found that 26 per cent of those polled “perceived people being drunk or rowdy in public placed to be a problem in their area” – a slight increase from last year.

The fears over the affects of alcohol range from urban to rural communities, with the worst hit being Manchester, South Wales, London, Northumbria and Gwent.

The figures also disclose that fears over drug use and drug dealing in neighbourhoods have also increased, with 28 per cent of people perceiving it as a problem.

The Daily Telegraph

Related Article

HEALTH WATCH: Alcohol Is More Harmful Than Heroin

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