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Alcoholics in denial have habit of claiming teetotallers are ones with a drink problem


Yesterday we, the Irish people, told ourselves a lie. Research from the Health Research Board found that more than 1.3 million people in Ireland have been branded harmful drinkers. Apparently a third of adult men and more than a fifth of women who drink are drinking more than recommended levels. This is well-conducted research by the Health Research Board over a very wide section of the population.

While the research methods may have been exemplary, those questioned will have been less so. Unfortunately, as we all know anecdotally, the figures are far worse than even this catastrophic research suggests. "Heavy" drinkers are not just alcohol dependent – they are adept at denial and like most of Irish society can minimise the level of alcohol they consume like few others.

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