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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.
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“Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this type of event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid….
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