New Poll - Half of Australians Drink to Get Drunk

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Fraser Clarke

Australia’s annual alcohol poll has revealed that almost half of Aussie drinkers consume alcohol with the intention of getting drunk - despite a majority believing that they are still responsible.

According to the research, a staggering six million Australians admitted that they drink alcohol solely to get drunk, yet 90% would classify themselves as ‘responsible drinkers’.

The report published a range of findings concerning the public’s knowledge around the issues associated with alcohol, with 78% of people aware that drinking whilst pregnant can damage a fetus, but just 16% aware of the links between alcohol consumption and breast cancer.

Some of the most interesting findings meanwhile were related to the public’s support of increasing awareness around the issues linked with alcohol, with 76% of those surveyed supporting cigarette style warnings on the packaging, and 80% saying that alcohol advertising in certain public locations should be banned.

Further to this, half of Australians revealed support for the a tax increase on alcoholic drinks, in order to help offset the cost of alcohol on society.

Whilst most of the findings illustrated the concerning scale of alcohol related illness, there were some positives - namely the fact that ¾ of those surveyed stated that more should be done to reduce the harm caused by drinking to excess. This is a clear sign that the majority of people are likely to be receptive to any plans aimed at controlling alcohol issues.

Speaking about the report, Chairman of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, Michael Thorn, said: “The findings highlight the dangerous lack of clarity about the long-terms risks of drinking alcohol, including mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver and breast cancer.

“An overwhelming majority of Australian drinkers consider themselves responsible, yet a high percentage of those consume alcohol to get drunk.

“The Poll results clearly demonstrate how ambiguous and subjective the concept of responsible drinking actually is, when 68% of drinkers who consume 11 or more standard drinks on a typical occasion consider themselves responsible.”

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