Drinking alcohol is the most common form of drug abuse used in Australia. It has become so widely used that many people don’t think of it as a drug. Alcohol has become an intrinsic part of the national character. Binge drinking - getting smashed or off your face – can be defined in two ways. Firstly as having six or more drinks in a row (although this definition is currently being challenged with health authorities wanting to change this definition to more than four drinks in a sitting) or secondly as drinking large amounts every now and then and “losing control”.
While binge drinking effects people of all ages, studies indicate that binge drinking is on the increase with young people with one in four young people having more than 20 drinks a day at least once a month.
Alcohol abuse and binge drinking is damaging to health of the individual and those around them being shown to lead to death, permanent brain damage, alcohol poisoning, violence, sexual assault road and other accidents such as drowning.
It is also damaging to the economy with costs related illness and injury estimated to cost the community $7.6 billion per year.
A newspaper poll showed of 602 people polled in NSW 81% believes that Australia has a binge drinking culture.
The media all too often contains stories of sports stars and medial personalities behaving badly under the influence of alcohol. To the young who aspire to be like their “heroes” follow in their footsteps and mimic behaviour. This fascination with these high profile personalities and the often lack of or very little consequences for their actions will lead these young people to believe that alcohol is part of being “cool’ and continue to mimic these behaviours in order to emulate the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
The rise of alcopops, designer drinks or pre-packaged pre mixed drinks has been said to be linked to the rise in binge drinking amongst teenagers. The government recently in...