Education key in cutting alcohol abuse, report

10 June, 2008

A Scottish Parliament report into reducing alcohol and drugs-related harm by 2025 has called for more emphasis to be placed on education and prevention.

The study by Scotland’s Futures Forum – a body set up by the parliament to assist MSPs, businesses and policy-influencing bodies in forming views on issues affecting Scotland’s future – said: “A greater proportion of resources should be allocated to treatment research, monitoring and evaluation.”

It said there should be more focus on child protection, promoting good parenting and community-led networks for prevention of misuse.

But the report still backs price rises and other forms of regulation, as favoured by Scottish justice minister Kenny MacAskill.

It said it seemed clear that “increasing price, setting in place market restrictions and promoting better public information works.”

It added that partnership between the drinks industry and government was “crucial in maintaining a flexible approach to regulation based on shared outcomes”.

The report was welcomed by the Scottish Grocers’ Federation. Chief executive John Drummond said it acknowledged that “as the majority of people believe, that Scotland’s relationship with alcohol will not be resolved overnight by knee-jerk reactions but requires a long-term strategic approach.”

He added: “Promoting good parenting, teaching parenting at school and promoting good learning environments at home are to be welcomed and exactly what we have been calling for.”

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