It is the opinion of ARA that no single action is likely to reduce alcohol problems, but rather a mix of self-regulation, enforcement of existing laws governing sale and consumption, and targeted interventions, combined with individuals taking personal responsibility for their drinking choices.
A clear distinction must be made at all times between the responsible use of alcohol and the misuse or abuse of alcohol. To this extent, the ARA is particularly concerned that legislative measures, policies and programmes which aim to prevent alcohol related problems should focus on the abusing minority and not encroach on the rights of the responsible majority.
The activities of the ARA largely fall into one of the following categories:
- Prevention through education
- Self regulation
- Participation in public policy development
The activities of the ARA are driven by and based on principles and data developed and obtained through sound local and international scientific research. It is important bear in mind and point out that the members of the ARA have a vested interest in the growth and the responsible development of the South African liquor market.
An analysis of the demographics and consumption patterns of the market clearly indicates that such growth and development can be achieved without damaging consequences for public health or raising individual consumption levels beyond the safe limits identified by the medical profession. The ARA members, therefore, pursue a balanced growth strategy based on responsible marketing and distribution practices.
The ARA is proud of its achievements to date, working in partnership with various stakeholders to address the problems of alcohol abuse and misuse and will continue work towards ensuring that the message of responsible alcohol use is conveyed to every community in our society.