A consultant psychiatrist is calling for the minimum age for alcohol to be raised to 21 to tackle addiction issues.
It comes after new figures show the number of calls and emails to the HSE’s Drug and Alcohol Helpline increased by more than 29% last year.
According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, there were more than 5,500 contacts in 2019.
The helpline is a free and confidential listening and email service for people with concerns about drug or alcohol use.
The level of use of the service has increased sharply in recent years.
In 2018, there were 4,300 contacts, rising to 5,557 last year. In 2019, 39% of the calls and emails were related to alcohol.
Patricia Casey, a consultant psychiatrist in the Mater Hospital, is calling for new legislation to tackle the problem.
Dr Casey said: "The alcohol misuse could be an age thing, I mean if the Government was of a mind to, they could do what the Americans do and have an age of consent for alcohol of 21.
Source: The Irish Examiner, 09/04/20