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More Regulations for Alcohol Use?

Posted in Alcohol Abuse

Should there be international law dictating alcohol consumption? One researcher says yes.

According to a recent report, an Oxford researcher is urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue regulations for alcohol use. She claims that drinking is an epidemic like any other health crisis in the world.

She ranks alcohol abuse above HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis as health problems citing that more than two million people die each year from alcohol-related issues.

Believing that the number of alcohol-related accidents and deaths would decrease if there were laws in place prohibiting excessive consumption of alcohol, tougher laws are needed, says one researcher. She said reducing the drinking age and a few tougher laws have helped, but more needs to be done.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics from 2006 show that excessive drinking can be expensive, costing the country more than $223 billion. Lower workplace productivity, illnesses caused by drinking and accidents that happen behind the wheel of a motor vehicle account for the biggest percentage of the total price tag.

So are additional regulations the answer? The number of alcohol problems associated with minors has increased and it is illegal in the U.S. for anyone under the age of 21 to buy alcohol. With additional regulations in place, the concern may be that more problems will occur.

It would be interesting to see more information from WHO as to what programs are currently in place to curb alcohol abuse, how statistics have changed since the programs were started and if the problem is better or worse. Once that information is brought to the forefront, then the health agency could determine what the next best step is to cut down on alcohol abuse.