25% of Irish males age 15 to 39 die due to alcohol. One in four deaths of young men aged from 15 to 39 in Ireland is due to alcohol. And alcohol is a factor in half of all suicides, according to the Health Research Board. Additionally, alcohol is involved in more than 33% of cases of deliberate self-harm.
As a response, Ireland’s first ever regional alcohol strategy to tackle the damage caused by alcohol in counties Cork and Kerry was launched at Cork County Hall.
More than one person every week in dies of alcohol poisoning in Ireland.
Among the HRB findings:
- Alcohol consumption in Ireland almost trebled between 1960 (4.9 litres) and 2001 (14.3 litres);
- Almost two thirds (63.9%) of males started using alcohol before the age of 18;
- Four in five (80.3%) male alcohol users consumed six or more standard drinks on occasion.
- Liver disease rates are increasing rapidly in Ireland and the greatest level of increase is among 15- to 34-year-olds, who historically had the lowest rates of liver disease.
- 900 people are diagnosed with alcohol-related cancers with around 500 people dying from these diseases every year.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is factor in one third of all deaths on Irish roads.
Ireland is discussing the adoption of the so called Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which aims to reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland to 9.1 litres per person per annum by 2020 and to reduce the harms associated with alcohol. It consists of 29 sections and includes five main provisions.
- Minimum unit pricing;
- health labelling of alcohol products;
- the regulation of advertising and sponsorship of alcohol products;
- structural separation of alcohol products in mixed trading outlets; and
- the regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol in certain circumstances.
However, Mr Lane lamented the absence in the proposed legislation of any attempt to tackle seriously the marketing of alcohol, particularly in its association with sporting events.