Press Release

Think Before you Drink – Alcohol Awareness Campaign

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin T.D. in Buswells today launched the next phase of the National Alcohol Awareness Campaign. The campaign theme for this phase is Think before you Drink – Less is More. The campaign highlights the growing problem of excessive alcohol consumption or “binge drinking” in the 18-29 year age group.

The elements of the publicity campaign include a national advertising campaign on television and radio, with the radio campaign beginning immediately and the TV campaign in the coming weeks.

At local and regional level the campaign will focus on developing information and awareness initiatives in three specific areas; third-level colleges, communities, and the workplace.

The Department has developed a number of supporting information and promotional materials to help spread the key messages of the campaign. These materials include colourful calendars, “mouse mats”, posters, notepads and will be widely circulated to key audience groups in the coming months.

The Minister said that “all of us who are committed to re-positioning alcohol in the public mind know that the trailing clouds of the alcohol culture can´t be blown away with one campaign, or indeed several campaigns. We have to move on a number of fronts with infinite patience, enormous cross-disciplinary co-operation and relentless determination.”

Mr Martin announced that a National Alcohol and Injuries study is being conducted in hospital accident and emergency departments. This will measure the incidence of alcohol-related injuries.

The Minister also published results of a survey into attitudes to alcohol by Lansdowne Market Research. The findings show that:

  • People are concerned about the increase in alcohol related problems
  • They support measures to provide greater protection for children, including not allowing them in public houses after 7pm (89%) and introducing restrictions on alcohol advertising on TV and in public places.
  • There is also strong support for random breath testing and a lower blood alcohol level.
  • They want greater efforts to prevent drunkenness.

“if . . .we can reposition alcohol in Irish life, it would benefit every single individual in this country, every family, every business . . .” the Minister said.