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

National addictions conference comes to Wales for first time

Embargoed until 03 May 2012

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is holding its annual Faculty of Addictions Psychiatry Conference in Wales for the first time today (3 May). To mark this momentous occasion, the conference will be opened by Dr Tony Jewell, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.


In his opening speech, Dr Jewell will say: "Addictions are a serious issue for Wales. They damage individuals, families and communities and present a threat to the health of the population. I am pleased to have been invited to address the Annual Meeting of the Faculty of Addictions. I look forward to meeting colleagues who use their skills and commitment to improve the lives of people with addictions."


Dr Raman Sakhuja, Chair of the Addictions Faculty of RCPsych in Wales, said: "The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales welcome our Celtic and English Divisions to Cardiff this year. We are honoured that Dr Tony Jewell will be opening the Conference, an event that is particularly timely given the recent publication of the Government’s Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales."


Dr Sakhuja continued: "Alcohol related problems in clinical settings are now very common. Not only do psychiatrists see these issues every day in psychiatry wards and within the community, but general hospital wards are also seeing the harm caused by alcohol every day. We are delighted the government is proposing a minimum unit price for alcohol in England and Wales, but it is not enough on its own. It is important to look at the broader picture in terms of alcohol marketing, publicity, advertising and local licensing, and the effect of these on the culture of drinking. I must emphasise that it is absolutely crucial to invest in research for newer treatments for tackling alcohol related harm, and that appropriate treatment options be made available at every possible point of contact within the NHS."


Dr Marianne van den Bree, Chair of the Addictions and Substance Misuse Mental Health Research Network Cymru, will also speak at the conference on factors contributing to substance misuse in young people. She says: "Substance misuse is influenced by a number of risk factor domains, including the family, the peer group, cultural and economic factors. Prevention would therefore benefit from a multi-pronged approach. Raising the price of alcohol is associated with lower levels of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems, particularly in young people and should be one of the elements of such a multi-pronged approach."

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


Note to editors:

The Faculty of Addictions Annual Meeting takes place on 3-4 May at Holland House Hotel, Cardiff.


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