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Public talk on alcohol abuse

New Zealand needs to address its serious alcohol problem, says an Otago University professor who is holding a public meeting on the Shore.

Doug Sellman, a professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine, says at least 700,000 Kiwis are heavy drinkers.

“New  Zealand is paying a heavy price through deaths, injuries, chronic diseases, police apprehensions and overburdened emergency departments, particularly during the weekends all directly related to out-of-control drinking.”

Dr Sellman says the deregulated way alcohol is marketed and sold in New Zealand is a major contributor to the problem.

“Alcohol has been excessively commercialised, over hyped and over sold; treated in the market place as if it were just an ordinary grocery item,” he says.

“Alcohol is quite different to bread or milk.

“Alcohol is a highly intoxicating recreational drug that has been demonstrated to have the same level of potential harm to public health as morphine and dexamphetamine, which makes unrestricted 24-hour supermarket sales, seven days a week by checkout personnel as young as 16, seem more than a little odd.”

Dr Sellman’s North Shore talk will include information about solutions he and a group of colleagues have developed.

These include: Increasing alcohol prices, raising the drinking age and reducing availability, marketing and advertising.

source: North Shore Times

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