So is alcohol at the moment apparently, and according to many politicians the fact that it is cheap is the main reason why some people are drinking so much of it.
It should be noted of course that one of the cheapest places to buy alcohol in the UK is the House of Commons, but of course there are no problem drinkers in parliament are there?
I am not convinced that increasing the price of alcohol, is the answer, and even some research including the latest from Sheffield University is starting to suggest that the impact of reducing the price of alcohol may have been overestimated.
If you can easily afford the alcohol in the first place then moderately increasing the price is unlikely to make any difference at all, your consumption is probably going to remain the same, with the possibility of it progressively increasing as your body and mind build tolerance to the effects.
Those with the least disposable income will feel the effect of any price increase the most, and often as far as they are concerned they ‘need’ alcohol more than anybody else. They feel that because they are miserable and are suffering they ‘deserve’ a drink in an effort to somehow make what they see as a miserable existence somehow more bearable.
Many learn to drink to ‘self medicate’ their lives. They will often argue that they were taught to do it, by their parents and peers, through advertising and successive governments that tell us that drinking is good and it is simple to ‘drink responsibly’
If an individual is consuming large quantities of alcohol, then there will be a reason for that. All addictions have underlying causes and it will be necessary to identify the cause and resolve it in order to overcome the addiction.
If they were not able to use alcohol to ‘self medicate’ then unless they know how to overcome the addiction, they will go in search of something else in an effort to get some ‘relief’. If they cannot afford it then they may consider other ways of obtaining alcohol. They might steal it, or at least consider turning to crime to generate some funds to buy alcohol, or perhaps they will go into mental and then physical decline and join one of the long NHS queues for counselling and therapy.
I often ask people that I work with ‘why do you think that you might be addicted to alcohol?’
I am yet to hear ‘because it’s cheap’ in reply, although admittedly I have never asked a politician.