New Zealand: Government Falls Short in Response to Alcohol Harm
Mental Health experts of New Zealand are calling on the government to urgently address the alcohol problem in the country.
According to the mental health addiction inquiry,
- Alcohol incurs a cost of almost $8 billion a year.
- Alcohol is implicated in one third of all suicides.
- There is disproportionate alcohol and other drug addiction among prison inmates.
According to public and mental health experts, successive governments have not taken adequate action to resolve the problem.
It’s not just this Government, it’s successive governments and our inclinations to answer that question is to ask, ‘Well, who benefits from continued heavy consumption of alcohol?’ and that would seem to be the alcohol industry,” said Simon Adamson, Director of National Addiction Centre, as per TVNZ1.
We do have strong lobbyists in this country and I think they’re bending the ears of politicians more strongly than the public are.
There is widespread public concern at the extent of alcohol-correlated harm. The country wants the Government to show some leadership on better regulation around alcohol.”
Mental health and alcohol
Mr. Adamson believes alcohol regulation can be easily effectively enacted, when it comes to dealing with the alcohol and mental health problem in the country, while other methods may be complex.
Mr Adamson said he would like to see a series of changes, including,
- reducing alcoho marketing,
- increasing alcohol prices, and
- raising the legal age for alcohol use.
These three alcohol policy solutions are comprised in the alcohol policy best buys, adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2013.
To help countries advance these alcohol policy solutions, the World Health Organization launched the SAFER technical package and initiative.