A new report by Aiséiri, an Irish alcohol addiction support group, has caused something of a stir amongst those dedicated to dealing with alcohol dependency when released this Monday. According to figures gathered since the beginning of this year, alcohol rehab attendance amongst women and the young have risen significantly within the first six months of 2014.
As a comparison, through 2013 Aiséiri received a total of 119 admissions to its specialist adolescent centre. By June of 2014, they have already received 101 admissions. One in three of these young people is between 15-17 years of age. Likewise, adults admitted in 2013, only 30% were women. This year that has risen to just below half at 43%.
From this data, they predict that if this trend continues then we may well see no less than a 70% increase in alcohol rehab admission for young people by end of the year, in addition to a 63% increase for women.
For staff at Aiséiri, these results represent a very worrying trend amongst the Irish population, which has for a while possessed a popular perception abroad for being big drinkers. Certainly alcohol forms over half of the group’s admissions to their centres, with it, sometimes rising as high as 78%.
Faced with this huge increase in applications to their rehab centres, spokespeople from the support group are imploring the Dáil not to reduce the duties on alcohol. It is their belief that increasing access to alcohol to the general Irish public will only help to accelerate the trend found in their research, and further compound Ireland’s growing alcohol addiction endemic. In particular, they fear that it will lead further harm to more vulnerable and less wealthy segments of society, such as young people, and are more likely to binge drink. Women may also be tempted to purchase more alcohol in bulk from supermarket chains.
We are seeing the tragic consequences of Ireland’s drink love-in and it is far from being ‘great craic’ for many individuals and families,” says Aiséiri CEO Paul Conlon.
It is his belief that further lowering the prices of alcohol would be a highly irresponsible act by the Irish government, and would only serve to further damage Irish society at its most vulnerable levels.
Aiséiri is an Irish alcohol rehab support group who are based within Ireland’s south-east, with centres in Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary. Their branch in Kilkenny boasts the only specialised adolescent alcohol addiction centre within the Republic.
Read the original report here.