Alcohol price controls 'vital in tackling rising abuse'
Price controls must form a vital weapon in Ireland's battle to tackle alcohol abuse, according to a leading addiction expert.
And he said that minimum alcohol pricing has a critical role to play in the Government's programme to reduce spiralling levels of alcohol abuse.
Health Service Executive (HSE) expert and Arbour House treatment centre director Declan O'Brien said studies have shown that minimum alcohol pricing does reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed.
"It will make an enormous difference to people who are just drinking too heavily," he said.
"You can buy a bottle of wine for a €5 - but if that bottle of wine is €10, you are not going to buy so much.
"By increasing the price of alcohol, you won't reduce the percentage of dependent drinkers. But you will reduce the percentage of drinkers who are drinking too much and that, in time, will reduce the amount of dependent drinkers."
It is estimated that one-in-10 people who drink heavily over a regular period will develop an alcohol dependency.