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25.06.2009 General News

Make alcohol abuse less attractive to youth -MP

By Jocelyn A. Bolten, - Ghanaian Chronicle
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THE MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma North, Hon. Justice Joe Appiah, has expressed grave concern over the influx of alcoholic drinks, both local and foreign, on the Ghanaian market.

In a statement made on the floor of the house last Friday, the Legislator noted that Ghana was gaining notoriety in alcohol consumption, and pointed to the fact that most of these drinks do not even have the alcoholic content indicated on their containers.

The MP was not happy with the way advertising agencies and the media corroborate and hype these drinks to make their accessibility and consumption.

According to the MP, advertisements on alcoholic drinks are carried publicly in broad daylight with distasteful messages, when children are at home, contrary to regulations of the Ghana Standards Board

The public is even made to believe, through the media, that intoxicants are aphrodisiacs, and that waist pains could be cured by drinking excessive volumes of alcohol.

The concerned lawmaker pointed to the evil effects of intoxicants on people, particularly the loss of precious lives through motor accidents, as a result of people driving under the influence of alcohol.

Hon. Appiah attributed the craze, whereby drinking “spots” are springing up in every nook and cranny of villages, towns and cities, with minors being lured into the business, to the fact that society does not condemn alcohol consumption, as compared to other stimulants.

According to the MP, alcohol was served during birthdays, naming ceremonies and funerals, and society does not frown on it. “I think societal approval makes the consumption of alcohol more prevalent,” he noted.

The Ablekuma North lawmaker called on the House to collectively make efforts in making alcohol abuse less attractive to the youth, who are enticed to acquire power by drinking alcohol, while the old look on unconcerned.

He also stressed the need for measures to be put in place to save the youth from becoming alcoholics.

“We cannot continue to cover our guilt with a cloak of liberality. Licenses are granted on the plea that they bring revenue to the state,” he stated, and questioned further “what is the revenue, when compared with the enormous expenses incurred for the sick, the criminals, the insane?”

Justice Joe Appiah wondered why the authorities legalise the sale of alcohol to make the sane insane. “A man under the influence of liquor commits a crime, he is brought before the law, and those who legalise the consumption of alcohol are forced to deal with the results of their own work,” he observed.

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