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Friday, February 17, 2012

Everyone’s problem The role of local alcohol services in tackling Wales’ unhealthy relationship with alcohol

Alcohol misuse continues to be a major challenge
in Wales, with many of us regularly drinking
beyond the recommended guidelines. This pattern of overuse is reflected in high levels of alcohol related illness, hospital admissions and deaths.

A wide range of alcohol services exist in Wales,
providing valuable guidance and support to
individual drinkers and their families, and to the
wider community. These services play a vital role
in dealing with the day to day consequences of
alcohol misuse, and in helping us in the longer
term to develop a healthier relationship with
alcohol. Research has shown that local alcohol
services can bring genuine personal and social
benefits, and long term financial benefits in terms
of reduced pressure on other public services due
to alcohol related problems.

Unsurprisingly, given the current outlook for public
spending, alcohol services in Wales have serious
concerns about their own financial future. These
concerns are intensified by the ongoing high
levels of demand for alcohol treatment. Whilst
recognising current public funding constraints,
Alcohol Concern argues that the immediate
and long term benefits of alcohol services to
individuals, society and the public purse justify
supporting, developing and investing in them.

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