Young people drinking more during pandemic 'worrying' – Thomas Gould TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould TD has today expressed his concern at reports of increased drinking levels in young people, and has again called on the government to legislate on Dial-a-Drink services.
The Cork North-Central TD was commenting in response to the release of the 'Growing Up in Ireland' study, which shows that 17% of 22 year olds reported drinking more during the pandemic than they had previously.
Teachta Gould said:
“Today I attended a wonderful briefing hosted by the Community Action on Alcohol team in Cork. They are running an excellent campaign trying to get the government to step up and legislate for drink delivery services.
“They shouldn’t need to run a campaign though. Governments have known this was a problem as far back as 2005 and with the expansion of social media, it has only gotten bigger.
“The issue is not with people getting alcohol delivered. It is with vulnerable people – those under 18 or already extremely intoxicated, being able to source alcohol that they wouldn’t be served in a pub or off-licence and with people having access to alcohol well outside of safe delivery times.
“The briefing today by ICAAN was extremely informative and hopefully the government TDs on the call will now put pressure on the Justice Minister to finally progress this issue.
“17% of young people in the Growing up in Ireland study reported drinking more during the pandemic. Given the loss of opportunities for socialising for young people, this is really worrying.
“We need to make sure that the resources are there to prevent young people developing dependencies on alcohol during these difficult times.
“The time for brushing our problems under the carpet is over.”