ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION in Ireland is 80% above the global average with the country’s 18 to 24-year-old age group Europe’s worst offenders when it comes to binge drinking.
That’s according to a new report from Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) which revealed Ireland is consuming 11 litres of alcohol per capita annually.
The report notes that this high level of harmful drinking equates to 41 litres of gin/vodka, 116 bottles of wine or 445 pints of beer per person aged 15 or over.
AAI is urging Ireland’s finance minister to maintain the excise duties on drink in the next pre-budget submission.
They noted that excise duties on alcohol products have changed just three times in the past 17 years and have failed to keep up with the rate of inflation.
AAI is also calling on the government to consider other measures like the introduction of minimum unit pricing.
CEO Sheila Gilheany told the Irish Examiner: "That very heavy level of drinking leads to a lot of harm both to the individuals themselves and also in a wider capacity.
"There is a lot of other harm to families and to children.
"One-in-six children are living in homes which we would call 'alcohol impacted' families.
"There is a big burden on the workplace as well."
They estimate around 60,000 young people under the age of 18 start drinking every year. AAI is calling for the establishment of a Social Responsibility Fund.
"Our proposals for establishing, and sustaining, a Social Responsibility fund demonstrate that there is ample means to source the necessary funding identified in the Slaintecare Report for a meaningful investment in primary care psychology services and the recruitment of additional psychologists at staff grade level and above, to meet the needs of both children and adults impacted by parental alcohol misuse,” the report said.
"These funds have the capacity to transform chronically underfunded prevention and treatment activities.”