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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Let's ALL pledge to call time on binge drinking

It's great to see Welsh police forces and Church leaders in Wales coming together for the first time, to try and tackle perhaps the biggest social problem at the moment - binge drinking.

Police chiefs and the Archbishop of Wales want us to start carrying cards or sign up online, to pledge to cut down on the amount we drink.

Critics may regard it as a bit "gimmicky", but we have to really start addressing the issue and any new and novel ways of doing this, should be welcomed.

I know doctors in Wales will certainly view this as a good idea, as it's us who often see first hand the very devastating effects excessive drinking can have. It's no coincidence that Friday and Saturday nights, when the vast majority of the Welsh public go out and "have a few", are also the busiest for hospital A&E departments.

I'm not trying to preach here and be a complete killjoy, most people like to have the "odd" drink now and again, which is fine. What this campaign is focussing on, is those who don't know when enough is enough, when their behaviour starts to deteriorate and they become violent and aggressive. And that can cause all manner of problems.

Let's also not forget the financial cost here too. Surely the £70-85 million spent by the Welsh NHS on alcohol-related incidents and diseases every year would be put to better use by actually trying to save people's lives.

So before the next "big night out", maybe stop and think and sign the pledge just as I have.

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