Dave Angel sees the damage done by cheap alcohol day in day out in his job as a support worker with a London homelessness charity. Having experienced alcohol addiction himself in the past, he knows how the easy availability of cheap alcohol can destroy lives.
“Cheap, strong alcohol is killing people and needs to be taken off the shelves or at least made more expensive.
“If you are feeling depressed and miserable and you know you can get that “hit” that will make you feel better for just a couple pounds, it’s a temptation that is hard to resist.
“Alcohol addiction is difficult to overcome; but the harder you make it for people to get that “hit”, the more likely they are going to be helped into detox and rehab.
“I’ve seen people lose their lives and sustain serious injuries because of alcohol. Others have been cut off from their family and friends because of their addiction.
“I don’t believe people choose this life. For them alcohol is a solution to a problem, but then it starts to destroy their lives.
“I am not sure exactly when my drinking became an addiction, I think it was in my late 20s. But it led to me losing contact with my wife and my children as they didn’t want to be around me anymore when I was drinking.
“That was when I decided I wanted to change, but it was hard. Now I am in contact with my children again.
“Cheap, strong alcohol is too easily available. Minimum unit pricing is not going to affect people who drink responsibly. It will raise the price of drinks such as the strong lagers and white ciders which are causing so much damage.
“The Government needs to recognise that alcohol is a highly addictive drug and should be doing more to protect society’s most vulnerable from its grip.
“They changed the law on smoking and cigarettes, now action is needed on alcohol as the impact on people and the wider society is so destructive.”