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More young people and women are being treated for alcohol addictions

Addiction treatment service, Aiséirí, is calling on the government not to cut excise duty on alcohol in the upcoming Budget.

Image: Woman drinking via Shutterstock

THE FIRST SIX months of 2014 saw a significant rise in the number of women and young people being admitted to alcohol addiction treatment services.

That’s according to the addiction service Aiséirí in its annual report launched today.

It says that if this continues – it could be facing a 70% increase in the number of admissions for young people this year compared to last and a 64% increase in admissions for adult women.

Over the full year of 2013, 119 admissions were made to Aiséirí‘s specialist adolescent centre. However, by June this year, there had already been 101 admissions.

One in three of these young people were aged between 15 and 17.

In 2013, 30% of the adult admissions at Aiséirí were women but by June 2014, this was 43% in one centre.

‘Tragic consequences’

CEO of Aiséirí, Paul Conlon, urged the government not to reduce excise duty on alcohol.

Alcohol is the primary drug of addiction for over 50% of admissions to all Aiséirí centres. In the adult centres it can be as high as 78%. Conlon said:

If the price of alcohol goes down, the risk of alcohol harm and addiction goes up, particularly for vulnerable groups like young people and women.

“It would be irresponsible of the government to introduce anything that would make alcohol cheaper or more accessible.

We are seeing the tragic consequences of Ireland’s drink love-in and it is far from being ‘great craic’ for many individuals and families.

“Lowering the price of alcohol by reducing excise, particularly in supermarkets and the off-trade, would greatly increase the risk of alcohol harm and addiction for vulnerable groups in particular young people, who generally have less money and are more likely to binge drink, and women, who are more likely to purchase alcohol at the supermarket.”

Aiséirí operates across four centres in the Southeast – Aiséirí Aislinn in Kilkenny, the country’s only dedicated adolescent addiction centre, as well as Aiséirí adult centres in Wexford, Tipperary and Waterford.

Read: Parole review shows drugs and alcohol a factor in majority of crimes>

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