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Research proves change needed in drinking culture

Hon Damien O’Connor
Associate Minister of Health

4 April 2008 Media Statement

Research proves change needed in NZ drinking culture

New research revealing alcohol as the number one date rape drug is further evidence of the need to eliminate binge drinking and change New Zealand’s drinking culture, Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor said today.

The Minister was referring to a recent Environmental Science & Research study which looked at 500 drug-related sexual assaults and found that in three quarters of the cases the victims were drunk.

Mr O’Connor said new television ads which begin on Sunday show the harm that can be caused by binge drinking and form part of the government’s wider alcohol culture change programme.

One ad relates directly to the very issue of date rape. It features a young woman who has been drinking heavily being dragged away from the pub by a man. You can hear her scream as the ad draws to a close.

“Excessive alcohol consumption can affect people’s perceptions of their own safety and can cause them to make poor decisions. The ads aim to make people reflect on the messages they contain and relate them to their own perspectives and experiences, in turn changing harmful drinking habits,” said Mr O’Connor.

“New Zealand's drinking culture must change so that drunkenness is no longer socially acceptable. These new ads are part of a broad programme to help bring about this change.

“People need to drink responsibly. We are seeing too many examples of the harm that alcohol abuse can cause and this new research reminds us of the harms that can arise out of excessive drinking,” said Mr O’Connor.


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