Hidden cost of excessive alcohol consumption

Posted by Josette Dunn on 20th December 2010

Excessive alcohol consumption has a huge hidden cost to Victorian society, Premier Ted Baillieu said today.


Visiting the Alfred Hospital Emergency and Trauma Centre with Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge, Mr Baillieu said the Coalition Government’s Operation Unite campaign to be launched this weekend will highlight the dangers of over-consumption of alcohol.

Operation Unite will stage a weekend of action by police on 17 and 18 December across Australia and New Zealand to reduce alcohol misuse and related threats to public safety and order.

“The damage done by drunken violence to Victorian families is well known, but the hidden effects are felt in our hospital emergency departments where staff have to cope with the consequences of alcohol-fuelled violence and accidents,” Mr Baillieu said.

“Doctors, nurses and other staff at The Alfred are often forced to cope with the ugly after-effects of excessive drinking and the deaths and injuries that it causes.

“This campaign highlights the damage caused by alcohol misuse and shows how police and health agencies can work together to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of excessive alcohol consumption in the community,” Mr Baillieu said.

Ms Wooldridge said that drinking too much alcohol damages health as well as affecting behaviour.

Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to diseases such as cancer and is linked to poorer mental health outcomes.

“If young people drink too much it can harm their brain development and increase the likelihood of alcohol misuse later in life,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Operation Unite sends a strong message that excessive drinking and drunken behaviour is not acceptable.

“The Coalition Government is determined to play its part to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence and raise community awareness about the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption,” Ms Wooldridge said.