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Articles on Alcohol in Australia

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The effects of alcohol vary considerably between different people. Mario Antonio Pena Zapater/Flickr

Quick fixes aren’t the answer, alcohol and violence have a complex relationship

The relationship between alcohol and violence is complex, and dramatic changes to criminal laws to punish intoxicated offenders are often ineffective, unfair or both.
Our current focus on the drug ice takes the spotlight away from the harms of excessive alcohol use, which is actually a bigger problem in Australia. Photographer/Flickr

Focus on illicit drugs puts Australia’s drinking problem on ice

Alcohol-related violence is a much bigger problem in Australia than the harms of illicit drugs but we tend to overlook the former because the latter gets more headlines.
Urban areas have historically been the winners in terms of heavy drinking but the picture has changes. Brian/Flickr

We drink in the town and country, but who drinks more?

So you’re back from up the country, Mister Lawson, where you went, And you’re cursing all the business in a bitter discontent; Well, we grieve to disappoint you, and it makes us sad to hear, That it wasn’t…
Australia has strong cultural barriers to looking at the legal status of cannabis and alcohol in the same frame. Elvert Barnes

Could a regulated cannabis market help curb Australia’s drinking problem?

Alcohol is a serious problem in Australia, both on the weekend streets and more widely behind the closed doors. It’s time we started a conversation about what can be done to help, and we should consider…
Alcohol control is not an area for win-win policies and lately, the community has been losing heavily. Carsten Nielsen

Three cheers for the possibility of sensible alcohol policy

Many Australians believe that there isn’t much we can do about our dangerous levels of alcohol consumption. But the real difficulty is that we don’t know how to get effective prevention policies through…
Portraying alcohol as ‘forbidden fruit’ makes it more attractive to young people. Chris Goldberg

Forbidden fruit: are children tricked into wanting alcohol?

Over the years, we have become accustomed to alcohol companies and their allies seeking to convince us of their concern about alcohol problems and responsible use of alcohol. Their efforts range from desperately…
The government’s discussions with the industry about voluntary labelling have not been transparent. Jesús León

Alcohol warning labels and ‘valuable label real estate’

There’s a legal requirement in Australia for all packaged alcohol to show the alcohol content of the beverage and the number of standard drinks. But there’s no need for the label to bear any information…
It’s impossible to know how much alcohol is safe to consume during pregnancy. Jason Coleman

Explainer: foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

The debate about alcohol’s harms is seemingly endless: the role of alcohol in violence, unplanned sex, injury and motor vehicle accidents, the teen binge-drinking epidemic, the risks of cancer and liver…
The tobacco and alcohol industries have more in common than it seems. Benjamin Wilken

Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco – boozem buddies?

In Australia, the most effective and efficient ways to reduce alcohol-related harm – increasing taxation, and restricting availability and alcohol promotion – are politically unpopular. This mismatch between…
Efforts to reduce young people’s reliance on alcohol face a huge obstacle in the form of alcohol advertising. Lala Roe

Advertising’s role in how young people interact with alcohol

The most recent guidelines on appropriate alcohol consumption from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are a hard sell to a hard-drinking public. And this is despite growing concerns…
Alcohol, tobacco, and fast-food industry sponsorship of sport sends the wrong message to the population. Dean Lewins/AAP

‘As a matter of fact, I’ve got it now’: alcohol advertising and sport

Sport is generally a healthy activity that transmits important societal values, such as fairness, perseverance, and teamwork. Unfortunately, it’s also the primary vehicle for marketing alcohol to the general…
Australian studies show alcohol is considerably more likely than other drugs to be involved in violence. Aviva West

Fact check: only drugs and alcohol together cause violence

On ABC TV’s Four Corners program last night, Paul Nicolaou, chief executive officer of Australia Hotels Association New South Wales, dismissed claims that alcohol is fuelling late-night violence, arguing…
In decisions about alcohol policy, the effects on others, and not just on the drinker, need to be taken into account. Gaby Av

My drinking, your problem: alcohol hurts non-drinkers too

Drinking a lot of alcohol is bad for the drinker’s health, both in the short and in the long run. But drinking often affects others adversely, too. This is well recognised for drink driving, and once the…
The increasing liberalisation of alcohol normalises drinking and consumption becomes enmeshed in the daily fabric of life. Image from

Social acceptance of alcohol allows us to ignore its harms

Most of us forget that alcohol is a drug so when asked to name drug-related problems, we tend to think of illegal drugs such as cannabis or heroin. But most of us drink, and drinking is an accompaniment…
Wine became popular in Australia in the 1960s, which led to the invention of the wine cask. Flickr/Johnsyweb

A brief history of alcohol consumption in Australia

Although most Australians would probably say we’ve always been a heavy-drinking nation, the consumption of alcohol has followed a roller coaster curve since European invasion. Alcohol consumption in Australia…

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