19 July 2012 You are here:

Statement on Government's Alcohol Strategy

Health Committee Report – Alcohol Policy

Commons Health Committee published a report on alcohol strategy today (19 July). It found:

Health impact of chronic alcohol misuse is significant and greater emphasis needs to be placed on addressing that impact. Government’s Alcohol Strategy needs some clearer objectives to provide a framework for both policy judgements and accountability. On the minimum price of alcohol the Government a transparent process in place to ensure that the price level is evidence-based and is monitored over time to assess its effectiveness. It also recommends that there should be a 'sunset clause' on the implementation of a minimum price.

[Read the report on Government's Alcohol Strategy]

A spokesperson on behalf of The Salvation Army said,

“The Salvation Army welcomes the Health Committee’s report today and its emphasis on the health impact of chronic alcohol misuse. The impact isn’t just on individuals but on families and society as a whole.

“The Salvation Army has a long history of working with those whose lives are damaged by addictions, most notably to alcohol and drugs. We provide an extensive range of treatment services for those who are recovering from alcohol abuse.  We offer treatment programmes for addicts but their road to recovery is often hindered by the damage the abuse has done to the family and friendship network of each person.

“There is a huge alcohol related problem in this country. In 2010 we saw more than a million alcohol related admissions to hospital. It is costing the NHS an estimated £2.7bn every year. The number of alcohol related deaths has increased by 101% in the last 20 years.

“A number of clients who use Salvation Army services have on-going alcohol related problems. We work closely with addiction referral services as well as providing six specialist detox centres in the UK. This is complimented by rehabilitation and support programmes to facilitate recovery and social integration.

“The delivery of these services comes at a large monetary cost to the taxpayer and to charities such as The Salvation Army. However it is the cost of ruined lives that is incalculable.

“Every day we see the consequences of excess alcohol consumption on the physical and mental heath, careers, relationships and family lives of those we help. Many with alcohol problems have often exhausted the kindness of family and friends and have lost contact with their own children.

“Our experience has shown that real sustainable recovery only occurs when the person reconnects with those family members and friends’ alienated during alcohol abuse. The Salvation Army as part of our programme offers meaningful relationship support as a network of loving family and friends is so often a reinforcing factor in recovery.”