LEMBI BUCHANAN: ‘Most vulnerable high-risk drinkers are not getting their fair share in return when it comes to treatment’



Politicians are wimps when it comes to tinkering with the price of alcohol.

Forget the fact that we are drinking more and our “drinking binge” has increased the many harms of alcohol abuse from cirrhosis of the liver to domestic violence.

The University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of B. C. earlier proposed a tax increase of two cents per drink to fund more treatment and prevention programs.

There was a public outcry and the government made no effort to implement recommended policy changes despite the urgent need for prevention and harm-reduction strategies.

The reality is that the government relies on the revenues from the most vulnerable and high-risk drinkers to pay its bills.

Ten per cent of the population consumes approximately 50 per cent of the alcohol sold in the province, but they are not getting their fair share in return when it comes to treatment needs.

This time, the centre is proposing creative solutions without overall price increases to reduce alcohol-related harms.

I hope our elected representatives, when they raise their glasses in a toast on New Year’s Eve, will make a commitment to consider the health and safety of the people of B. C. and take a serious look at the proposals put before them.


Lembi Buchanan, president

Nickel-a-Drink for Addictions and Mental Health Research Foundation



CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Politicians blind to alcohol damage

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Page A15



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