Heavy boozers slurping it up

HEAVY Australian drinkers account for almost 75% of all alcohol consumed across the country. Contributed.
HEAVY Australian drinkers account for almost 75% of all alcohol consumed across the country. Contributed. Declan Cooley

HEAVY Australian drinkers account for almost 75% of all alcohol consumed across the country and nearly four million of us are risky drinkers.

Out of the heavy drinkers, men are downing 24 litres of pure alcohol while women heavy drinkers are taking in 12 litres per year, according to a report prepared by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.

3.8 million of us are averaging more than four standard drinks of alcohol a day which is twice the recommended health guidelines.

The report found that if heavy drinkers reduced their consumption to within the guidelines at two standard drinks a day, then the total consumption of alcohol would decrease by 38 million litres of pure alcohol a year.

FARE Chief Executive Michael Thorn said it was obvious the alcohol industry was targeting heavy drinkers.

"The alcohol industry markets this vague, undefined and unhelpful concept of 'responsible drinking' while all but ignoring the existence of the Australian drinking guidelines," Mr Thorn said.

"There are a lot of mythologies around the Australian drinking culture and the alcohol industry would have it that most Australians are moderate drinkers.

"The point is the moderate drinkers are drinking hardly anything while nearly four million Australians are drinking way above what health experts recommend," he said.

He said it made sense the alcohol industry were targeting heavy drinkers or "super consumers" when only 20% of drinkers consumed 75% of all alcohol purchased in Australia.

Mr Thorn hoped the Queensland Government would implement changes to increase the price of alcohol, curb advertising targeted at young people and introduce last drinks, lockout laws and 10pm bottle shop closures. 

Topics:  alcohol alcohol abuse australia

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