Friday, September 25, 2009

Canberra Alcohol Deaths Up

Canberra was the only jurisdiction to record an increase in alcohol-caused deaths over the past decade, a recent study into alcohol harm has found.

The National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University of Technology found alcohol-caused deaths in the ACT jumped 12 per cent and the number of people admitted to hospital had almost doubled.

The number of deaths in the capital jumped from 39 to 54.

At the same time, alcohol-attributable hospital admission rates rose in all age groups a 64 per cent increase.

This should be compared to the number of deaths attributable to other drugs and substances:

* tobacco
* heroin
* cocaine
* petrol-sniffing
* cannabis
* amphetamines
* ecstasy
* prescription drugs
* etc

Apart from tobacco, which no doubt heads the list by a long way, there would be no comparison to alcohol.

Associate Professor Tanya Chikritzhs said there was a clear link between the deregulation of the liquor industry and rates of alcohol-induced hospitalizations.

I consider the policy of prohibition to be a very counter-productive failure. The right approach to the problem of drug and substance abuse is a combination of taxation, regulation and education, focussing on the most provenly harmful substances. Seen in this light the government response to the problem of alcohol is a scandalous concession to the grog lobby.

No comments: