Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The range and magnitude of alcohol's harm to others

This research report by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation provides both a broad overview and detailed insight into the problems the drinking of others has on Australians. The impacts from the drinking of others vary dramatically. At one end of the spectrum Australians are affected by nuisance inconveniences, such as street noise or having to avoid public parks, or petty costs from damaged property. At the other end harms can be severe, such as child abuse or physical violence or death. The public health impacts of alcohol from others' drinking are of major concern.

This report addresses a number of critical questions: How many Australians are
affected by others' drinking? Who is affected? What is the relationship between those who have been affected and the drinker? How are Australians affected or harmed? What are the costs for others in trouble, in time, in money? This report provides a first set of answers to such questions.

Answers to these questions stem from a variety of data collected by social and health agencies, including police data, road crash morbidity and mortality data, death statistics, hospital records, child protection agency data, and alcohol and drug services and helpline data. Data from previous population surveys are also analysed. And much data in the study comes from a special survey of more than 2,600 Australian adults who answered detailed questions about their experiences and consequences from the drinking of others.

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