New strategy to tackle alcohol misuse launched by government

The government launched a new national alcohol strategy today, aiming to reduce the damage to people’s health and antisocial behaviour caused by alcohol misuse.

“Most people in this country do drink safely and responsibly, but the evidence of the damage caused by those who don’t is plain to see. Alcohol abuse still costs us £20 billion a year in crime and damage to health,” said Home Office minister Vernon Coaker.

The strategy includes measures to increase the penalties for drunken behaviour, ensure a tougher enforcement of underage drinking laws and provide more help to people who want to drink less.

Plans for compulsory local alcohol strategies and a review of NHS spending on alcohol-related health issues are also set out.

The new document is a follow up to the government’s alcohol harm reduction strategy for England published in 2004.

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