Home > Uncategorized > Minimum Price for Alcohol

Minimum Price for Alcohol


Last weekend at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference, I went to a fringe event on minimum pricing for alcohol with Dr Peter Rice from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Dr Adrian Bonner from the Salvation Army with Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie in the chair.

It was an interesting fringe event which I mainly went to for the food, although I have a vague interest in the topic.

Both the speakers gave interesting speeches on the subject as to why minimum pricing is a necessary first step. I believe it Was Dr Peter Rice who had an interesting slide that showed the effectiveness of different policies which had minimum pricing and tax as the most effective and education as one of the least effective.

I understand that minimum pricing might have a small effect but for me it still fails to address the real problems.

I understand that minimum pricing will help those that aren’t dependent and prevent some people becoming dependent in that some people may make a rational choice to only spend x amount on alcohol, that might help to change the student drinking culture if only slightly. Or it might help those who don’t think the price is worth it but again thats a rational decision.

I chose a long time ago that I wouldn’t drink alcohol, for the main reason that I don’t trust myself to moderate it so I stay away from it. Again that’s a rational decision.

What about those who are dependent on alcohol and are therefore incapable of making a rational decision when it comes to alcohol? I fail to see how minimum pricing will help them.

I’ll bring my mother in to this. She drinks far too much. The Scottish average of drinking the equivalent of 46 bottles of Vodka a year or 2.5 bottles a wine a week isn’t even a challenge for my mother. In fact she drank approximately 2.5bottles of wine in a night about a month ago when my sister came down for my Mother’s birthday. Yes, i’ve given her slack because it was her birthday but I calculated that my mother and sister drank about 23 units each in a night. That’s 10 times the daily allowance of alcohol.

I fail to see how minimum pricing will affect that because it was down to peer pressure as well as the instant gratification their brain gets from wine. I fail to see how anything other than continual education and awareness campaigns as well as treatment can actually deal with those problems. Only continual education and awareness campaigns can maybe teach people how to deal with peer pressure and not to give in to instant gratification.

I came away from the fringe event of the same mind, that minimum pricing might help some people but it doesn’t deal with the real underlying problems.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. March 24, 2012 at 19:12
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  2. May 14, 2012 at 19:18

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