Report of a mission carried out from 8 to 18 September 2005 a delegation to study the social situation in Reunion Island.
Among the topics discussed by the mission during its meetings and visits to Reunion Island, two are particularly to be developed. Their successes are indeed examples that could usefully be replicated in France.
The mission has devoted a large part of his time to the study of the means used to Reunion Island to fight against alcohol and more particularly to fight against fetal alcohol syndrome.
Two figures illustrate the severity of the problem in Reunion: Alcohol is involved in nearly half of the accidents and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the leading cause of mental retardation observed.
This high alcohol consumption fits into one particular historical and cultural context related to a « culture of rum. » With the abolition of slavery, freedom is expressed as the ability to drink alcohol. Many years later, rum, popular drink is always present as a symbol of the island. The liquor prominently present in local consumption, although in volume, it is beer which is most consumed.
Consumption of alcoholic beverages is one of punctuating uses social life (parties, religious rituals …). It also lends itself to the many qualities of alcohol acting on the body or on the moral, « alcohol-drug. » It is also considered normal for a worker from drinking his « little rum » before leaving in the evening after work.
Nevertheless, in a festive tolerated and accepted social practices there is often misuse and they goes beyond excess. The harmful alcohol present in the families is a social reality. In addition, precocious alcohol taking among youth becomes a serious public health problem…