“Dry January”: Addictologists call on the Minister of Health

“Dry January”: Addictologists call on the Minister of Health

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Aurélien Rousseau, 48 addictologists urge the government to support the alcohol-free month, deploring “almost zero” prevention in Europe.

“Alcohol causes 41,000 deaths per year, but in Europe, prevention is almost zero. Something is wrong”… On December 11, 48 addictologists led by the national university college of addictology teachers united to send a letter to Aurélien Rousseau, Minister of Health. As alcohol-free month looms, better known as Dry Januarythis public health initiative would not receive any support from the government according to doctors.

Confidence in a policy against alcoholism is “impaired”

“If we, academics and teachers of Addictology, take the liberty of addressing you, it is because it seems to us that recent events concerning alcohol risk prevention policy deserve to join our forces and our skills on public health objectives, rather than on the terrain of confrontation” write the doctors.

The lack of involvement of the ministry in this January challenge, and in the fight against alcoholism in general, has raised questions for them for several months. According to information from the investigation unit of Radio Europe, the Ministry of Health has already canceled two prevention campaigns in recent months, one of which should have been broadcast in September during the Rugby World Cup. Bernard Basset, doctor specializing in public health and president of the Addictions Europe association, then denounced “the alcohol lobby” Who “infiltrated the entire state apparatus”

“Confidence in the government to pursue a coherent and resolute policy” against alcoholism“is seriously impaired.” deplores the collective in its letter, published in The Parisian.

Dry January, a movement supported by public opinion

To restore this confidence, doctors are asking the executive to act urgently. “Supporting the social mobilization operation known in Europe as the ‘January Challenge’ seems to us to be a great opportunity.” They therefore ask Aurélien Rousseau to take strong measures in the future without delay: “You have affirmed your determination to fight against the risk of alcohol, the involvement of the ministry and Public Health Europe in the January Challenge would be both a strong gesture reflecting your commitment, but also an outstretched hand towards all stakeholders in Addictology and Public Health, all of whom unreservedly support the January Challenge. Aurélien Rousseau’s agreement “would greatly calm a debate and allow us to start again on a calm basis.” they conclude, leaving the door wide open.

Contacted by The Parisianthe Ministry of Health responds that“Aurélien Rousseau, determined, wants to commit to a general policy against alcohol”. It remains to be seen whether action will follow.