Alcohol Abuse Rates in Australia

Posted in About Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol Abuse Rates in AustraliaAlcohol is a noted part of Australia’s social culture, and the country’s public health officials work to keep drinking rates at safe levels.

How Australians Drink Alcohol

Australians drink alcohol at celebrations, at certain work functions and as a way to unwind. Having a drink is synonymous with relaxing with friends for many people, according to a July 2001 Alcohol in Australia report.

Heavy drinking was a bigger health problem in the 1980s, but since that time public health messages have lowered rates. Binge drinking and other types of harmful drinking patterns accounted for 3.2 percent of the country’s total disease and injury burden, according to 2003 statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Across the country, Australians drink large amounts of alcohol on a frequent basis, according to a report from the Australia Medical Association.

There are several high-risk groups in the country, ranging from young adults to seniors age 60 and older. People living in remote areas are also likely to drink excessively. The medical association is concerned that Australians are taking their first drink at a younger and younger age. Around 90 percent of people try alcohol by the age of 14, and most have had a full serving of an alcoholic beverage by age 16.

As a country, 61.5 percent of Australians drink alcohol weekly while 20.5 percent report drinking alcohol in the last 12 months, according to 2007 statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Alcoholism Treatment in Australia

Many Australians (around 61 percent) think drinking regularly is acceptable. Traditionally, drug problems are associated with illicit drugs in the country although there is growing awareness about the day-to-day problems associated with long-term alcohol use, according to the Alcohol in Australia report.

The report’s authors note the country’s remote and rural areas have limited alcohol treatment services and a limited number of trained professionals to offer treatment. Still, alcohol treatment is important in the country. A one-day census of drug treatment facilities in 1995 showed 49 percent of clients were receiving alcohol abuse treatment.

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