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Too Passive on Drink

A new report from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation makes it beyond doubt that the Australian community needs to put alcohol back on the top shelf. The 236 page report titled ‘The Range and Magnitude of Alcohol’s Harm to Others’ is an extensive study of the social consequences and the cost of abuse of alcohol. A selection of quotes follows:

* More than 70,000 Australians are victims of alcohol–related assaults

* Heavy drinkers have cost others around them more than $14 billion in out-of-pocket expenses, forgone wages and productivity

* 20,000 children are victims of alcohol-related child abuse

* 30% of the adult population report being negatively effected by someone in their circle of persons well known to them, due to alcohol

* 14,000 people were hospitalised because of the drinking of others

In the words of Tim Costello in the foreword to the report, ‘If ever our leaders needed the courage to tackle the vested interests that resist effective alcohol reform in Australia, this report provides ample evidence that the ongoing tragedy of alcohol-related harm in the Australian community cannot continue unabated.’ The best example to look to in our history is Governor Lachlan Macquarie who cleaned up the squalor of rum corp Sydney (read Bruce Stannard’s summar at http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-magazine/2010/july-2010/Lachlan_Macquarie )

The report can be downloaded at http://www.aerf.com.au/Harm_to_Others_Full_Report_with-errata.pdf

Posted Tuesday, 24 August 2010


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