Survey suggests Australia has an alcohol “problem”

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th April 2012

A majority of Australians believe Australia has an alcohol problem that shows no sign of disappearing soon, according to an Annual Alcohol Poll conducted by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), a not-for-profit Australian organisation.

According to FARE, this year’s Annual Alcohol Poll also found that Australians are “extremely critical of the alcohol industry” and “unimpressed by the industry’s efforts to reduce alcohol-related harms”.

The poll found that 75 per cent of Australians say more needs to be done to tackle alcohol-related harms and identified alcohol companies (68 per cent), clubs and pubs (64 per cent), and government (54 per cent) as not doing enough.

Of those asked, 79 per cent believed the issue would either worsen or remain the same over the next five to 10 years.

Australians were asked which industry they believed was doing the most to address the harms from their products and found they are least likely to nominate the alcohol industry (5 per cent), less than the number who nominated the gambling industry (12 per cent), tobacco industry (15 per cent) and the fast food industry (21 per cent).

Alcohol consumption on the rise, poll finds

The poll also found there was an increase in the number of Australians consuming six standard drinks or more on a typical occasion, rising from 12 per cent in 2011 to 16 per cent of people in 2012.

Over two million Australians reported drinking to get drunk at least once a month. The poll asked respondents to clarify what exactly they meant by ‘being drunk’ with almost half of those who drink to get drunk indicating that being ‘drunk’ meant slurring their speech and losing their balance.

The poll found that 61 per cent of Australians believe health information labels should be placed on alcohol products and that 64 per cent of Australians support a ban on alcohol advertising on television on weekdays and weekends before 8.30pm.

FARE Chief Executive, Michael Thorn said, “The Annual Alcohol Poll consistently tells us two things. Firstly, there is an awareness and acceptance by Australians that we have a problem with excessive drinking. Secondly, Australians want change; they believe this significant social issue has been ignored for too long.”