AAP (Australia) – Alcohol costs Australia $36 billion/year: report

  • Post category:World News

A major study of the impact of alcohol misuse in Australia has put the annual cost of excessive drinking at $36 billion, along with a massive human toll.

More than 70 per cent of the nation’s adult population would be “negatively affected” by someone else’s drinking in a year, according to the research by the Australian Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AER Foundation).

The human toll includes 70,000 Australians who would be the target of alcohol-related assault in a year – 24,000 of these would be adult victims of domestic violence.

There would also be 20,000 children across Australia who would become victims of substantiated alcohol-related child abuse.

“Behind each of these statistics lie personal, family and community problems that stem from the harms associated with the drinking of others,” said AER Foundation director Reverend Tim Costello.

“The results are clear – too many Australians are experiencing the negative impact of other’s drinking (and) a range of evidence-based measures is needed to shift Australia’s drinking culture.”

The research, to be detailed at the National Press Club in Canberra today, put the total economic impact of alcohol misuse at $36 billion per annum and significantly up on previous estimates.

This comprises $24.7 billion in tangible costs which include out-of-pocket expenses, forgone wages or productivity and hospital and childcare protection costs.

There are a further $11.6 billion in intangible costs, which includes lost quality of life from someone else’s drinking.

Other key statistics from the Range and Magnitude of Alcohol’s Harm to Others report include that almost a third (29 per cent) of the adult population report being negatively affected by the drinking of someone who was known to them.

Women nominate being negatively affected by the drinking of a relative, or household member, more frequently than men (14 per cent to 8 per cent).

And while 70 per cent of adult Australians would experience “noise, annoyance or worse” as a result of someone else’s drinking, 43 per cent say the impact would include physical or verbal abuse or fear.


Source: AAP (Australia), 24/08/10