Oz officially has an alcohol problem
But it didn’t start recently like in Kings Cross. Australia has been wearing the infamous beer goggles since colonization. According to the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education 2018 Poll, since 2010 the total percentage of adult alcohol consumers in Australia has never been below 77%. And from 2017 to 2018 that statistic jumps from 77% to 82%. That’s four out of every five adults! Looking at the underage crowd, the cultural instigation is even more prevalent where 88% of Australians surveyed in 2010 reported alcohol consumption by age 14.
When looking at these shocking statistics, it’s important to note that alcohol usage isn’t inherently a problem. Used responsibly, alcohol can help loosen the mood and stimulate a more social environment. The key word here is “responsibly.” So, what leads people to irresponsible use? The problem is the juvenile jungle juice that is underdeveloped brains, a social drinking culture, and ease of access to alcohol.
When we look at the percentages of people who drink excessively, as well as the data on alcohol-related incidents, the conclusions are hard to argue with. The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines binge drinking as “more than 7 drinks a night for men, and more than 5 for women.” Using this definition, nearly half of all alcohol consumers binge drink. It’s no surprise when 45% of drinkers, approximately 5.7 million, consume alcohol with the express purpose of getting drunk. Pair this attitude with a legal drinking age of 18, an age at which the brain is statistically underdeveloped, add in the ease of access, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
This is why RSA training in NSW, QLD and other states is so important.
What kind of disasters specifically? Fatal car accidents, hospitalizations and casualties, domestic abuse, child neglect, health problems and even crime can be a consequence of irresponsible alcohol use. Alcohol is the second leading preventable cause of death and hospitalization in Australia. Of the 1,225 fatal traffic accidents that occurred in 2017, 33% of them were found to be linked to alcohol use. It’s sobering to consider, but important to understand in addressing the problem.