Let us join hands in building a sober country

A very disturbing picture is painted by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse.

A very disturbing picture is painted by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse.

The report, released at a seminar hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria, said globally, alcohol abuse was the root cause of the deaths of 1,8million people. These people suffer from chronic diseases. Alcohol is also responsible for 20 to 30percent of all the world's homicides and injuries.

As our continent develops, we will experience huge growth, both in population and the economy. This will lead to an increase in alcohol production and consumption. We must also keep in mind that alcohol abuse is to some extent associated with an increase in HIV cases, birth defects and other terrible social ills.

As South Africa joins the world economy, we will experience a lot of people with huge disposable incomes, and this will lead to alcohol abuse.

It is disappointing to note that the government does not have adequate measures to regulate the vigorous advertising by alcohol companies. More importantly, people must be protected from advertising that promotes and reinforces perceptions of drinking as "very cool, glamorous and risk free".

These adverts inculcate pro-drinking attitudes that often lead to drinking among our youth. Please Mzansi, let us join hands in creating a sober country.

Yusuf Mustafah, Pretoria

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