Govt to use alarming WHO data to fight alcohol abuse

2014-05-23 15:23

The Department of Social Development department will use World Health Organisation (WHO) data and information to step up interventions against South Africans’ “risky” alcohol abuse.

“The department will use the data and information to strengthen current interventions, as well as to bolster future programmes to end alcohol abuse in SA,” spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said today in a statement.

The WHO global status report this month found that individual South Africans (15 years and older) consumed an average of 8.2l of pure alcohol per year, which was well above the African continental average of six litres.

It found that an average of 2.9l of pure alcohol consumed in SA went unrecorded, potentially bringing the country’s average consumption to about 11 litres per capita per year.

On drinking patterns, SA scored four – with one representing least risky and five representing most risky.

Oliphant said the department would take reasonable steps to combat alcohol abuse through the Central Drug Authority, an advisory body mandated to assist in the fight against substance abuse in the country.

The authority is the custodian of the National Drug Master Plan (2013-2017), which aims to prevent and reduce alcoholism and its social and economic consequences in SA.

“Through the programme of action, government strategically aims to develop policy, review and align liquor legislation, educate and create awareness on substance abuse, promote equal access to resources across SA, [and] respond to policies and legislation.”

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