Alcohol Action Ireland has called on the Government to address our harmful relationship with alcohol.
The call came after Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures revealed an increase in Ireland's alcohol spend in 2012.
"More than €6.3 billion is a huge figure for a relatively small country like Ireland to spend on alcohol in a year and it's particularly worrying that our total spend on alcohol in 2012 increased for the second year in a row and was more than we spent on it than in any year since 2008," said Conor Cullen, Communications Officer with Alcohol Action Ireland.
"To put this figure into context, at 7.7% of our total personal expenditure, it's far more than twice what we spent on clothing and footwear last year. However, we must remember that alcohol is not a grocery or another everyday household item, even though this is how alcohol is currently marketed and sold throughout this country."
Alcohol Action stressed that alcohol is a very harmful substance that creates a wide range of problems.
"Alcohol-related harm costs Ireland over an estimated €3.7 billion a year, and that's not counting the vast human costs, such as the three people dying every day from an alcohol-related illness, the many more people in our hospitals every day suffering from alcohol-related illnesses, communities plagued with anti-social behaviour and significant child welfare and protection issues, among many other alcohol-related problems."
The action group said the figures show the urgent need for alcohol-harm reduction measures currently being considered by Government, particularly key measures targeting the pricing, marketing and availability of alcohol in Ireland, 'which have the potential to reduce our alcohol consumption and the serious fall-out from our excessive drinking'.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.