ABC Online (Australia) – Australians drinking to mask depression: research

  • Post category:World News

The Salvation Army says it is concerned at the number of people it believes are drinking simply to get through their day.

A survey of around 600 people commissioned by the charity and carried out by pollsters Roy Morgan has found more than 7 per cent often or sometimes drink in order to “feel normal”.

The Salvation Army’s Gerald Byrne says it is a worrying sign.

“We’ve also identified in the survey that there’s a significant number of people who drink because they feel depressed or because they feel down,” he said.

“What we see there is we see people in a sense trying to self-medicate, deal with feelings of not being able to deal with their feelings of depression, and in a sense taking alcohol on board for all the wrong reasons I suppose.

The survey found that almost 14 per cent of its respondents said they drink to get drunk.

The research also found more than 45 per cent of people surveyed often or sometimes drank alcohol because they were with people who were drinking.

Sixty-seven per cent said they drank to be sociable, while almost 56 per cent used alcohol to wind down.

Mr Byrne says more needs to be done to break the entrenchment of alcohol in the Australian way of life.

He says the weekend nationwide police blitz on drunken behaviour proves that it is ingrained in society.

“I definitely think that there’s a place for government in relation to this because not only is alcohol a personal and individual problem, but it’s also a societal and in a sense a health problem as well,” he said.

“But also people need to be taking more responsibility for themselves in relation to their use of alcohol.”


Source: ABC Online (Australia), 13/09/10