Alcohol recommendations 'ignored', researchers claim

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Curbing New Zealand's toxic relationship with alcohol and the social harm it brings won't happen unless recommendations to strengthen regulation are taken seriously, academics say. In an editorial, a group of University of Otago addiction psychologists claim the Government has ignored recommendations made in the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry. The Government accepted, accepted in principle, or agreed to further consideration of 38 of the Inquiry's 40 recommendations, but a call to more tightly regulate alcohol was one of the two that didn't make the cut – prompting questions about whether vested interests are a problem.

Journal/conference: New Zealand Medical Journal

Organisation/s: University of Otago

Media Release

From: New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)

Another government ignores a recommendation to strengthen alcohol regulations

The recent report of the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction included a recommendation for the government to strengthen alcohol regulations. The government has chosen to ignore this, thus joining a procession of successive governments over the past 10 years, which have been unable to bring about public health measures to curb excessive drinking and thereby reduce associated harm.

Two questions must be asked and straight answers sought: (i) whose stakes are at risk if the people of New Zealand drank less alcohol? and (ii) do these vested interests have undue influence on New Zealand’s political processes behind the scenes?

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