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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

College responds to Government Alcohol Strategy

Embargoed until 23 March 2012

Commenting on the publication today of the Government’s Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales, which proposes the introduction of a 40 pence per unit minimum price for alcohol, Dr Peter Rice, an alcohol addictions specialist and Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said: "We are delighted the government is proposing a minimum unit price for alcohol in England and Wales, along similar lines to proposals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Much attention will be focussed on the initial minimum price, but this is a long term policy and a monitoring mechanism built on good data and research will be essential to adjust to a changing market."


Dr Owen-Bowden-Jones, Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of Addictions, said: "Minimum pricing is likely to lead to a reduction in the cost of alcohol related harm to health, social care, justice and other sectors and this will be of benefit to the whole community. But minimum pricing is not enough on its own to win our society’s battle with booze. We also need greater investment in alcohol services for people with alcohol-related problems."


The College looks forward to responding formally to the strategy, which includes proposals around:


  • banning the sale of multi-buy discount deals;
  • zero tolerance of drunken behaviour in A&E departments;
  • a late night levy to get pubs and clubs helping to pay for policing; and
  • improved powers to stop serving alcohol to drunks.

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


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