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Prevalent Alcohol Abuse Linked to Crime

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 - The link between alcoholism and crime has been highlighted as one of the issues which should remain in focus for young persons, so they could better understand their role in the fight against crime.

Acting Director of the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat Mrs. Elizabeth Serieux Wilson told the young persons present at the recently held National Crime Commission Youth Symposium the acceptability of alcohol use does not reduce its harmful effects.

She warned that although prevalent, such trends should not be allowed to define young people’s behaviours or lifestyles.

“There’s a serious, strong relationship between alcohol and crime. And alcohol in our society is so pervasive, the use of it every where, and nobody is exempt from it. And we see the effects but we loathe to take responsibility and realise that we contribute to it - that our attitudes make it alright for young children to be buying to be selling, alcohol or makes it alright for us to be fighting in the street and makes it alright to make it for domestic violence to occur because it’s part of our culture.”

Mrs. Wilson says most young persons do not fully understand how drastically alcohol use could alter their normal personalities. “This is due to the disinheriting effect of alcohol. What that means is it predisposes you when you use it to engage in behaviour that you normally would not do and to engage in behaviour that normally you will not engage in. Perhaps you have the propensity towards a certain kind of behaviour but you have kept it under control. Alcohol abuse will bring it closer to the surface.”

She says the far reaching impact of alcohol abuse among the youth including students needs to be more actively dealt with at the community level.

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