Heaviest drinkers in Australia are drinking more4th September, 2013 by Andy Young
A new study from Australia has found that the amount of alcohol consumed by the country’s heaviest drinkers has increased over the past decade.
The study, by Dr Michael Livingston of the national Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Sydney, found that the top 10% of heavy drinkers in Australia are knocking back around 5% more alcohol than 10 years ago. Heavy drinkers are classified as those who consume more than 3,000 standard every year, or just over eight a day.
This new information is in contrast to Australia’s overall drinking rates, which are falling as more people reduce consumption or abstain completely.
Dr Livingston highlighted this contradiction when he told the Guardian Australia: “It goes against what we thought about alcohol consumption, where if the rate goes down, we all shift together.
“The big question is why this is happening. I think there has been a lot of media attention on the issue but it’s not quite sinking in with some people.
“Overall, we are seeing a lot in the media about the harmful effects of drinking, as well as things like FebFast and Dry July. There has been an overall shift in thinking about drinking.
“We know that heavy drinkers respond to changes in price, so a minimum price or extra tax could have an impact. Also, an intervention from a health professional can also be helpful.”