Monday, March 12, 2007

Guardian letter

The damage from legal drugs

Monday March 12, 2007


The RSA report says that the cost of alcohol to the economy is £20.1bn a year. The figure given by the Cabinet Office for 2000-01 for England alone was £20bn, and the government has refused to update that estimate. But if it is indexed by the rise in alcohol consumption since then, it would have reached £21.7bn by 2005-06, indicating that since the government's alcohol harm-reduction strategy came into force, the damage is getting worse. Adding in the rest of the United Kingdom, alcohol harm exceeds that caused by all class A drugs put together. Alcohol is also the only one of the harmful substances covered by the RSA report whose consumption could be reduced immediately by government action.
Eric Avebury
House of Lords

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