Monday, December 04, 2006

Australia: Neglect of alcohol treatment a national scandal

"The present situation in Australia is nothing less than a scandal and politicians, the liquor industry, the advertising industry and others profit from a legal drug which has a devastating effect on our society but is so often ignored because of incorrect assumptions about those who suffer from this most common of all drug addictions."

So says Ross Fitzgerald, historian, novelist, political commentator and professor of history, in the current Australian. Source. Fitzgerald says that Australia's current fixation on the methamphetamine scourge tends to blind people to the much larger and ongoing alcoholism problem. Alcohol kills far more people, is linked with far more crimes, and causes much greater social disruption, but treatment for alcoholism gets short-changed and the medical system turns its back on alcoholics, considering them incurable. In fact, says Fitzgerald, alcoholism is just as treatable as asthma, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases. But there's not the same political capital in treating it -- and there's a big legal industry that wants to sweep the problem under the rug.

Of course, this problem is unique to Australia. Isn't it?

1 comment:

Investigator said...

Interesting story! My work is related as well, check it out!

Cheers, Robert