Study finds many rural workers 'risky drinkers'

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) led study has found many farm and fishing workers are heavy alcohol drinkers but are unaware of the potential health impacts. The research involved surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 150 workers from seven regional centres in Victoria, Western Australia and NSW.

Study participants worked in the grain, cotton, mixed farming, sugar and fishing industries. Interviews were conducted with casual, seasonal and mobile workers along with family members and employers.

The research team included Adjunct Research Fellow at the CSU Centre for Inland Health, Dr Julaine Allan and Professor Patrick Ball from CSU’s School of Biomedical Sciences, along with researchers from Monash University and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of NSW.

Dr Allan said 43% of those taking part in the study were identified as risky drinkers, who consumed large amounts of alcohol frequently.

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