According to Milton, the Department of Health is currently in the midst of “ongoing discussions” with the Treasury about how a different pricing strategy for alcohol could hold the key to encouraging safer and more sensible alcohol consumption.
However, Milton commented that setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol is not the solution and so a range of options are being considered whilst the House of Commons science and technology committee looks into the evidence and reasoning behind the current alcohol guidelines.
Milton commented that though people seem to accept the fact that smoking can cause significant damage to the body, and that obesity poses significant health risks, many are still reluctant to believe that alcohol can also be very damaging.
“I think that’s still a message that we haven’t got through in the guidelines.” She said.
The governments new strategy for tackling Britain’s alcohol problem is expected to be published either at the end of the year or at the start of 2012. According to Milton it will contain information about what their intentions are in terms of alcohol pricing.
Moves have already been made to raise the duty on strong beer and reduce it on weaker varieties. Milton commented that there has already been a positive industry response, with many companies opting to reduce alcohol strength so that it falls below the new duty level.
This means that each litre sold will contain less alcohol, a small step in the right direction according to Milton.
A recently published report estimated that binge drinking will cost the NHS a staggering £3.8 billion by 2011, with 1.5 million of that spent on handling A&E admissions each year.
Without appropriate government intervention, the above figure could increase if the nation remains ignorant to the dangers of alcohol.
If you have an alcohol problem then your first port of call should be your GP, as they will be able to perform an assessment to identify any damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption. They will also be able to provide you with treatment and support, and if appropriate may refer you to a counsellor.
If you are struggling to control an alcohol habit then you may find that hypnotherapy when used alongside conventional treatment methods could be of benefit. If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy could help you, please visit our Alcohol Abuse fact-sheet to find out more.
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