Alcohol is the drug that has the greatest impact on the fabric of our society, yet governments are weak-willed in their commitment to tackle the problem, according to St John of God Brothers head Br Peter Burke. He said: "What must be kept in mind is the phenomenal revenue alcohol generates for governments each year. Once this is considered, is it any wonder so little money is invested in alcohol-related education or rehabilitation programs?"
    Br Peter, who is also chair of the Australian Institute for Counselling and Addictions, said that solving the problem requires a long-term injection of government funds. Writing in Easter Sunday's Catholic Weekly, he called for more sustained treatment programs. "It is simply not enough to detoxify people and then discharge them - longer inpatient treatment programs are the only way to tackle the deep, physical, psychological and emotional impacat of drug dependence."
   Meanwhile, in a recent statement the French Catholic bishops have laid the blame for alcoholism on taboos that make frank discussion of alcohol abuse difficult. "Society must avoid becoming accomplices... The family has a premier role in the prevention of risks regarding alcohol [as well as] educators and leading figures in sports and culture."

31/03/99 4:22:36 / Catholic Weekly


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