The tragic death of stars like Amy Winehouse should be used to warn children against the dangers of alcohol as well as drugs, according to Professor David Nutt.
Speaking at The Telegraph Hay Festival, Professor David Nutt, who was Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, pointed out that there was a massive poster campaign against the use of ecstasy after the death of Leah Betts from the drug.
A charity to help drug addicts has been set up after the death of singer Amy Winehouse.
But there has been little mention of the danger of alcohol misuse.
"Why is there not a poster campaign about the death of Amy Winehouse on billboards all over the country like there was with Leah Betts?" asked Proff Nutt. "Because Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning."
Prof Nutt, who was dismissed from his position after arguing taking ectasty is no more dangerous than horse riding, said the campaign against drugs use is being funded by the drinks industry.
He said the Department of Health did not fund the anti-ectasy poster campaign following the death of teenager Leah Betts and claimed it must have been the drinks industry.
"There is no question the drinks industry is a massive industry. It is extremely concerned people will stop drinking and use drugs. It has phenomenal lobbying power. It foments anxiety about drugs and has huge reach politically."
Prof Nutt said alcohol and nicotine are just as dangerous as drugs.
He said drugs should be legalised so that it can be controlled and to stop the "murder and chaos" caused by the drugs trade.
"You do not have to be frightened of of drugs but you have to be frightened of alcohol"
Prof Nutt said alcohol kills more people under the age of 40 than anything else.
He said cheap alcohol at supermarkets is particularly damaging and suggested higher prices and strict regulation.
"If you have a child they are more likely to die from alcohol than a traffic accident, cancer or any other disease."
03 Jun 2012
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