Is Saint Lucia’s Alcohol Problem Spiraling Out Of Control?

The prime minister of Saint Lucia Kenny Anthony said recently that Saint Lucians should not expect this government to increase taxes on alcohol and cigarettes anytime soon. This, even as government is facing a fiscal deficit and seeking ways of increasing government revenue. Never mind too, that this nation is facing an alcohol addiction problem with an increasing number of young people caught up in the cycle. The laws pertaining to the sale and consumption of alcohol to minors is hardly ever enforced in Saint Lucia.

Alcoholism continues to be a problem especially among Saint Lucia’s young and productive sector.

Alcoholism continues to be a problem especially among Saint Lucia’s young and productive sector.

As if we needed further proof that we are indeed a nation of drunks, the WHO recently released the results of its 15-year global alcohol consumption survey. Two Caribbean nations are in the top ten countries ranked by per capita consumption. They are Grenada at number 5 and Saint Lucia at number 9.

According to the report, the per capita yearly pure alcohol consumption in Grenada is 12.4 liters. Researchers looked at all the different drinks people consume solely in terms of their alcohol content, which eliminates differences between wine, beer and spirits. That works out to between three and four drinks per person every single day.

According to Caribbean News Now senior correspondent, Grenadian Marcia Braveboy, the culture of intoxication there began after Hurricane Ivan hit on September 7, 2004.

“Hurricane Ivan had a debilitating effect on the people at the time and it seemed that developing illnesses accelerated under the heightened stresses brought on by the storm,” Braveboy says.

Saint Lucia comes not far behind Grenada with 11.6 liters per capita yearly pure alcohol consumption. This figure has been on the increase over the last five years within which Saint Lucia has faced two major natural disasters. Some local physchologists have pointed to the poor state of the economy as a reflection of the increase in alcohol consumption.

The United States doesn’t crack the top 25 of the list coming in at number 37 with 8.77 liters of pure alcohol consumption per capita every year. The country at number one is Belarus.

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4 Responses to Is Saint Lucia’s Alcohol Problem Spiraling Out Of Control?

  1. Bolom says:

    When the economy is so sweet and things are so promising what do you expect people to do in such better days, we are celebrating Kenny’s greatness. Belle descand, aun lot gog.

  2. John Joseph says:

    All this supported and abetted by the Seventh Day Adventist in the Government. Let your light so shine, and theirs are clearly shining right now. What fellowship has light with darkness. If you can’t speak out against the evil being perpetuated then by association you are part of the evil. But of course birds of a feather flock together and show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. Oh Daniel was in Government, but Daniel was not afraid to tell the King the truth about about what was truly wrong or right, Hypocritical christians in Government get up and speak out if you dear about the shameful things to which you are collectively associated, Or can you> Lewis and Co can you be counted?

  3. John Joseph says:

    Heartless Prime Minister removes the subsidy on Sugar under the guise the health of the nation, but true to colour the hypocrite can’t link alcohol consumption and use of tobacco to the health of the nation. Alcohol we give for free at election time to imbibe and keep us out of focus so as to elect misfits for office, so to increase the cost is to increase the cost of remaining in power. Most important though a people who aren’t sober isn’t an effective bulwark against poor governance, and by drowning our sorrows in alcohol (“the thing {we} you love most”) we will never recognize our predicament and in drunken stupor go on behaving like all is well in fair Helen. The Prime Ministers strategy is clear, but the minds of the people are not. What a demonic Kenny and his devilish minions in office who can’t tell the emperor he errs “even for the sake of their own children” far less for that of their constituents.

  4. Anon says:

    Will this be another issue that the government chooses to ignore? Seems so.

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