Alcohol Beverages Australia, and the industry more broadly, are very supportive of reducing the harmful impacts of drinking.
These latest cost estimates show that some of the figures reflect the impacts of alcohol from years and perhaps decades of misuse, offsetting some of the health gains we might expect from the overall declining harmful use of alcohol in Australia.
It is important to look beyond the headline figures and understand that this research is about helping the government allocate resources in the areas most needed. Australia’s drinking culture is now one of moderation, and we are seeing successful targeted measures bring about real change.
The research also demonstrates the need for continued investment in public health strategies to reduce harms from alcohol, recognising those who are dependent on alcohol, and those who drink in a way that puts their health at risk. Effective strategies are required to address alcohol related harms to these at-risk drinkers and to other parts of society from this cohort.
Our hope is that the government will now work closely with organisations such as DrinkWise, to further improve Australia’s drinking culture and reduce alcohol related harms.