Kids can help win the drugs and booze war, says MSP

George Adam has warned families they cannot “shirk away” from the drink problems that blight thousands of lives across the area

By Chris Taylor, Daily Record 19th November 2013


Children hold the answer to winning Paisley’s battle with alcohol and drug abuse, says the town’s MSP.

George Adam has warned families they cannot “shirk away” from the drink problems that blight thousands of lives across the area.

The SNP man believes school lessons warning youngsters of the dangers of over consumption is the best way to win the against the booze.

He told the Paisley Daily Express: “Education is a key factor and I am pleased to see schools actively discussing these issues, so that children have all the facts before misusing alcohol.

“This is what we need to do to tackle the culture of youth drinking within our society which leads to so many problems within adults life.

“It is a problem that we cannot shirk away from, as this not only affects the health of people, but the family and friends around them.

“I am pleased that steps are being taken to look at prevention and the new curriculum for excellence is taking a strong focus on prevention in relation to drugs and alcohol.”

Mr Adam hopes new Holyrood rules placing a minimum 50p cost on each unit of alcohol sold will help, but admits more must be done.

He said: “This is not a silver bullet, it is just one of many steps which are working towards cutting the amount of alcohol abuse in our society.”

As reported in the Paisley Daily Express earlier this month, 871 people were admitted to hospital with alcohol related injuries in the last three years – 26 per cent higher than the national average – with one adult in five downing more than their recommended daily limit.

Renfrewshire also has more than
2,000 drug addicts, according to the research, published by Renfrewshire Council.

Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Douglas Alexander has called for a united front to help battle the drink and drug problem which costs Renfrewshire £72million every year.

“These are horrific figures and behind every statistic is a story of human misery,” explained Mr Alexander

“The Paisley Daily Express, as a campaigning local paper, has done a real service to our community by highlighting the scale of this issue and it’s financial and human impact in Renfrewshire.

“Not only can drink and drugs cause huge problems for individuals, but the effects on relatives and friends can be tragic, with families torn apart.

“As someone who grew up here in Renfrewshire, I know alcohol abuse has scarred our community over generations and I am particularly troubled these problems are so much higher here than the national average.

“All politicians need to work with local agencies and organisations to tackle this problem.”

Paisley-based West of Scotland MSP Neil Bibby said: “These figures are a stark reminder of the scale of the challenge we face in tackling the problem and I welcome the Paisley Daily Express looking at this important issue.

“All levels of governments and agencies need to work together to ensure we raise awareness about the devastating effects that drugs and alcohol can have and attempt to change attitudes in our society.”