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Summary

This briefing provides an overview of the government’s recently published alcohol strategy (March 2012).

– The strategy is intended to tackle the problem of ‘binge drinking’, estimated to cost the country as a whole an annual £21 billion.

– The most eye-catching proposal is the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol in England and Wales. The Scottish executive is also bringing forward similar measures (not considered in this briefing).

– The strategy outlines a multi-agency response focusing on the role of health, police, local government and voluntary sector in tackling alcohol misuse.

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