Thais To Say No To Alcohol For Three-month-buddhist Lent

Bernama, June 29, 2011

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand's Ministry of Public Health is campaigning nationwide for local people to refrain from alcohol during the forthcoming three-month Buddhist Lent, which starts on July 16.

Thai Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr. Siriwat Tiptharada has launched the "No Alcohol National Day 2011" campaign, in conjunction with Thailand's Stop Drink Network and National Alcohol Beverage Office, aimed to promote free of alcohol, healthy lifestyles among the Thai public on the occasion of this year's Buddhist Lent.

Dr. Siriwat said that the move is also part of the Thai government's efforts to reduce alcohol-related problems, including over 60 related-illnesses ranging from cancer, liver cirrhosis and diabetes, reported Thai news agency on Wednesday.

It will also reduce social, family and debt problems.

Official statistics showed that about 48 per cent of road accidents in Thailand from 1995-2009 were caused by drunk-driving with some 13,000 deaths and more than 100,000 injuries.

While, about 45 per cent of wounded patients at local hospitals and about 35 per cent of arrested sexual abusers were related to alcohol consumption as well.

The official figures also indicated that violence in families with habitual drinkers was also found at least four times higher than those of non-alcohol consumption; while some 100,420 cases of divorce in Thailand in 2007, a three-fold rise in 20 years, were also related to alcohol consumption.