Updated: 29/08/17 : 11:13:52
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Health minister wants minimum unit pricing for alcohol introduced this autumn

The Minister for Health has said he wants the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill to be passed through all stages in the Oireachtas this autumn.

Simon Harris said he was calling on all political parties and Independents to step up to the plate and reiterate their support for the legislation, which would introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

He said there had been concern expressed in the Seanad that the legislation would see an undue financial burden placed on small business owners.

reports that Mr Harris said that was never the intention of the bill and that he would reflect that in amendments that he would bring forward.

He was speaking at the launch of the Rutland Centre's second annual Recovery Month.

Recovery Month is a month-long programme of activities highlighting the information and support structures available for families and communities dealing with recovery from addiction.

To mark the launch, the Rutland Centre also released information about addiction trends for 2016.

The centre found that alcohol was the number one drug of choice in 91% of cases it dealt with last year.

The age of those people most frequently seeking treatment was between 34 and 44 years old.