Australians worry about alcohol abuse, survey says

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Wine has become the drink of choice for Australians according to the survey

The vast majority of Australians worry that national drinking habits are excessive, according to new research.

An online poll commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (Fare) also found 92% of Australians believe alcohol is linked to domestic violence.

Fare surveyed 1,820 people across Australia.

However one alcohol industry lobby group rejected the study as "all spin and no substance".

Key findings from the report

  • 78% of respondents believe Australia has a problem with excess drinking or alcohol abuse.
  • 44% of Australian drinkers consume alcohol to get drunk - up from 37% in 2016.
  • Bottled wine is Australia's drink of choice (29%) ahead of regular-strength beer (21%).
  • 92% of Australians think there is a link between alcohol and family and domestic violence.
  • 35% of Australians have been affected by alcohol-related violence (up from 29% in 2016).

Fare chief executive Michael Thorn told the BBC the research suggested Australians were concerned about the harm caused by alcohol, but that many were resistant to changing their own behaviour.

Image source, Getty Images

"Australians should think about the annual alcohol toll: 5,500 deaths, 160,000 hospitalisations, 70,000 assaults," he said.

"We know what the solutions are. Fix the way alcohol is taxed, reduce its availability, and cut back on the way it is promoted including phasing out sports sponsorship."

The survey also found most people believe the alcohol industry should be held responsible for harm cased by drinking.

Alcohol Beverages Australia dismissed the poll as sensationalist and lacking in evidence, and that most Australians used alcohol in moderation.

"The focus should be on properly establishing and addressing the causes of family and domestic violence, not simplistically blaming alcohol for its prevalence," said the body's executive director, Fergus Taylor.

The World Health Organization ranks Australia 19th on the global alcohol consumption ladder, ahead of Ireland at 21, the UK at 25, New Zealand at 31, Canada at 40 and the United States at 48.

More on this story