Alcohol and society


Sir, – Iain Kennedy (Letters, June 17th) refers to the Lancet paper of November 2010 which identified alcohol as the most harmful of 20 mind-altering substances.

What was particularly interesting in that study is that alcohol is the only drug where the vast majority of harm – almost two-thirds – is to other people rather than to the user himself or herself. – Yours, etc,





Sir, – To suggest that Diageo should be held responsible for the behaviour of individuals who overindulge in their products is rendering individual responsibility obsolete.

Such logic would place blame on motor manufacturers for the anti-social behaviour of car drivers, sugary drinks producers and chocolate manufacturers would be held accountable for obesity and decaying teeth, and fast-food outlets would be the villains for raising the cholesterol and diabetes levels of their customers.

Are we in this country ever going to mature to the point whereby we accept responsibility for our own behaviour? – Yours, etc,




Dublin 6W.

Sir, – The Byrne report in (2010) on the “Costs to Society of Problem Alcohol Use in Ireland” puts the figure at over €3.7 billion annually that we, the taxpayers, have to pay to undo the harm being generated.

Surely the time has come for Diageo to start funding health services instead of rugby players. – Yours, etc,