The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Alcohol Misuse has released its manifesto for 2015 today, including a series of measures aiming to reduce alcohol-related harm in the UK.
The document recognises that alcohol misuse has “become a national pandemic” and that it is “the primary task of any responsible government to protect the welfare of the people it serves, particularly those most in need”. The report’s authors also suggest a 10-point list of recommendations for effective alcohol policies that aim to create a “balanced environment” that discourages irresponsible drinking:
- Make reducing alcohol harms the responsibility of a single government minister with clear accountability
- Introduce a minimum unit price for alcoholic drinks
- Introduce public health as a fifth licensing objective, enabling local authorities to make licensing decisions based on local population health need and the density of existing outlets
- Strengthen regulation of alcohol marketing to protect children and young people
- Increase funding for treatment and raise access levels from 6% to 15% of problem drinkers
- Commissioners should prioritise the delivery of Identification and Brief Advice. Identification and Brief Advice should be delivered in a wide range of different settings including health care, involving GPs routinely asking questions, and in-workplace programmes
- Include a health warning on all alcohol labels and deliver a government-funded national public awareness campaign on alcohol-related health issues
- For all social workers, midwives and healthcare professionals, introduce mandatory training on parental substance misuse, foetal alcohol syndrome disorder and alcohol-related domestic violence
- Reduce the blood alcohol limit for driving in England and Wales to 50mg/100ml, starting with drivers under the age of 21
- Introduce the widespread use of sobriety orders to break the cycle of alcohol and crime, antisocial behaviour and domestic violence
Writing in the Foreword, the APPG’s chairwoman, Tracey Crouch MP, said: “The facts and figures of the scale of alcohol misuse in the UK speak for themselves – 1.2 million people a year are admitted to hospital due to alcohol; liver disease in those under 30 has more than doubled over the past 20 years and the cost of alcohol to the economy totals £21bn.
“Getting political parties to seriously commit to these 10 measures will be a massive step in tackling the huge public health issue that alcohol is.”
Click on the link ‘All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse Manifesto 2015’ to read and/or download the document.