Enforce alcohol policy now


ALCOHOL consumption in public is supposed to be illegal.
Unfortunately, this behaviour is becoming a norm right throughout the country.
It is mostly done by men – young including those educated – holding beer bottles and cans in full public view and randomly terrorising the public from school children to females, including mothers and motorists.
Realistically, streets are no longer safe – they are now left to those intoxicated thugs who freely roaming public places fearlessly harassing and abusing innocent and decent general public.
One just has to read in the papers or witness in your neighbourhood that alcohol abuse is uncontrollable and beyond the ability and capacity of the Government or the authorities to deal with.
Last week, The National published six stories from the courts and police with mentioned one party being under the influence of alcohol.
Alcohol abuse remains deeply embedded in many societies and Papua New Guinea is no exception.
A study conducted in Port Moresby found that more alcohol-related accidents occurred at night and on weekends, particularly on pay weekends.
Harmful use of alcohol is associated with many health conditions such as physical illness, including mental disorders and suicide, cancers and other non-communicable disease.
Most reported fights including killing from last year were all alcohol related.
And that points to the fact, that alcohol abuse is a quarrelsome issue that poses many challenges for our society.
Thus, there is a need to address this encompassing and emerging issue from a whole-of-society approach to resolve this issue
There is the national alcohol policy with the aim to reduce alcohol related harm and socio-economic burden in PNG, but it is not being enforced.
While the Government recognises the role and importance of the policy as an essential and valuable document, because harmful use of alcohol has a negative impact on public health and is also associated with significant challenges in social problems, law and order and economic losses to the country, the question is how soon this policy will be implemented.
This policy could end up as another collection if it is not given priority this year.
This policy should be implemented and enforced.
They say every new beginning brings its share of optimism and expectations of bigger and better things.
And Prime Minister James Marape had given hope reassuring that everyone can look ahead as a nation and a community with confidence.
It seems the Government has every reason to be optimistic of success that investors in the global economy have confidence in our country.
The Government aims to build a more prosperous nation in which the benefits of growth and development are more equally shared by all.
To stimulate growth, law and order is one area that needs a drastic work around. And it starts with alcohol abuse, which is a general bug eating into the very core of society, infecting the workforce and fast destroying the integrity and dignity of the family unit.
Alcohol abuse leads to public disorder, domestic violence, rape, fist fights, road accidents, deaths, medical complications, psychological problems, loss of income, creating dependency burden,and many other problems, some even unimaginable.
A nation cannot prosper if it overlooks and turns a deaf ear to the plight of women and children who suffer from alcohol abuse, because the family unit is the basic foundation for nation building.
The national alcohol policy should be implemented before the alcohol abuse time bomb explodes.