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New Zealand drinking culture under fire from ALAC

Press release
Alcohol Advisory Council
September 29 2003

New Zealand drinking culture under fire from ALAC

Alcohol-fuelled Incidents at Alexandra’s blossom festival over the weekend demonstrate yet again the need to change New Zealand binge drinking culture, says the Alcohol Advisory Council.

“What is it in our psyche that says to enjoy an event we have to get plastered?” asks ALAC Chief Executive Officer Dr Mike MacAvoy.

Reports from Alexandra suggest large numbers of young people arrived at the festival with cars laden with alcohol and proceeded to drink the weekend away.

“From reports in the media it appears most vehicles had a sober driver. But drink- driving related accidents are not the only the harm that can result from heavy or binge drinking.

“In the last month we have had two coroners speak out after investigating deaths caused by binge drinking. Binge drinkers, whether they are adults or young people, are risking their lives.”

Dr MacAvoy says he believes there will be no improvement in New Zealand’s harmful drinking patterns until New Zealand changes its culture of heavy and binge drinking.

“Until we change this mentality and make people, both adults and youth, aware of the dangers of binge drinking, we will make little progress.”

ENDS

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