Opinion

Australia has a drinking problem and we need to sober up

Frazer Pearce - The big problem is the damage they (people binge drinking) will do to innocent victims before they are sin-binned.
Frazer Pearce - The big problem is the damage they (people binge drinking) will do to innocent victims before they are sin-binned. Allan Reinikka

HI, my name's Australia and I'm an alcoholic.

Anyone who says this nation doesn't have a drinking problem needs to have a good hard look in the mirror.

We as a society need to keep talking about where we are going with our binge-drinking issues, particularly when it leads to violence.

Despite all the recent publicity about drunken attacks that have killed or destroyed lives, the trauma continues.

It's blatantly obvious current methods and punishments are not turning the tide.

All the statesmen-like words of condemnation, and pledges for tougher sentences, will not stop the next idiot from throwing that fateful punch. These macho men who can't control their anger or ego after too many drinks need to be taken out of play.

The big problem is the damage they will do to innocent victims before they are sin-binned.

The Australian Institute of Criminology reported in 2009 that conservative estimates suggest the total costs attributable to alcohol-related crime was $1.7b; the social cost relating to alcohol-related violence (excluding the justice system) was $187m; and costs associated with the loss of life due to alcohol-related violence amounted to $124m.

In 2013 the NSW Nurses Association reported a national poll showing more than three in every 10 Australians have been affected by alcohol-fuelled violence.

"Alcohol-fuelled violence is a national problem that can no longer be ignored,'' the nurses said.

Surely it is time for real and substantial action by the governments of the day.

Topics:  alcohol, alcohol abuse, campbell newman, code of conduct



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