The Center for Addiction Medicine (SÁÁ) wants the government to establish a special fund for the treatment of alcoholics. The center is calling for 10 percent of the taxes collected through the sale of alcohol to be directed to a special fund to help alcoholics and their children.
The president of SÁÁ, Gunnar Smári Egilsson, says that local authorities need to take further action to boost resources for providing treatment and support to those suffering from alcoholism, ruv.is reports.
According to Gunnar Smári, around 900 individuals are in a particularly bad condition and require significant support. Further, between 5,000 and 7,000 children affected by the drug or alcohol abuse of their parents are in need of assistance, he states.
“The solution is to take a portion of the revenue generated from alcohol sales and transfer it, in agreement with the state and municipalities, to assist this group of patients,” Gunnar Smári explained.
“Society has taken in all patient groups. There is only one group left out in the street, and these are far-gone alcoholics and addicts. This is not acceptable in our society in 2012, especially given that this group pays the majority of the tariffs on alcohol,” he continued.
Gunnar Smári believes that the results of a U.S. study which found that 20 percent of the population drinks 90 percent of the alcohol sold there may apply to Iceland too.
According to those numbers, alcoholics in Iceland pay ISK 10 billion (USD 81.5 million, EUR 62.6 million) in tariffs on alcohol.
“This is money which is taken from the poorest families, from the weakest people and from the children who are in most need of help,” he concluded.