Binge Drinking in Queensland on the Rise

 In Blog

One of the worst trends in Queensland is the rate at which people are engaging in binge and problematic drinking. Actually new figures released by The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education indicated a 30 per cent increase in people showing up in hospital emergency departments in the past 5 years for reasons related to binge drinking.

FARE figures show that more than 91,500 people went to emergency departments last year for alcohol-related issues including intoxication, withdrawal syndrome, alcoholic hallucinations and alcoholic gastritis. And according to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital maxillofacial surgeon, Dr Anthony Lynham, 75 per cent of 500 people seen at his clinic for assaults were in some way alcohol-related with the majority of patients coming from the 18-30 year old age group.

This is yet another reason why we need to see Responsible Service of alcohol rules more strictly enforced and monitored. The purpose of responsible service of alcohol is to prevent drinking from reaching these stages of intoxication which lead to injury, hospitalization and possibly death.

This post from The Daily Telegraph website explains:

905465-002e7eda-eeb9-11e2-af7f-ad8cecfd760bDr Lynham said it made him feel ”sick” that alcohol companies targeted young people as they were more than often involved in assaults in pubs and clubs.

”The patient today was literally standing there and this guy thought he said something about him and there was just a whack to his head, which broke his eye socket, jaw and cheek bone,” he said.

”He didn’t know the guy,” he said of the 24-year-old victim.

The FARE figures hospitalisations rose 57 per cent to 33,977 in the 10 years ending 2011-12 while there was a 45 per cent increase in people seeking help from treatment services over the past six years.

People were hospitalised with behaviour disorders, alcohol poisoning and chronic conditions including alcoholic cardiomyopathy and alcoholic cirrhosis of liver.

FARE chief executive Michael Thorn said the data did not show the true extent of the problem because the State Government did not collect data on incidents of alcohol-related violence or hospitalisations as a result of alcohol-fuelled violence.

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FARE are also afraid that the Government’s red tape reduction proposals (which could include the abandonment of lockouts and safe drinking precincts and relaxation of bottle shop opening hours to trade from 9am) would contribute to alcohol-related problems.

An issue over which RSA staff have some control that affects drinkers is how much alcohol they are served. This is an especially important point to consider because the amount of alcohol a person consumes affects their physical and mental wellbeing and can have repercussions for those around them as well. One of these repercussions is the development of an alcohol addiction by patrons who abuse liquor.

Alcohol servers have a responsibility to ensure they do not continue to serve unduly intoxicated patrons or serve too many drinks to the same person in one night even if that person does not show any signs of being unduly intoxicated.  For more information on Responsible Service of Alcohol training or to register visit our homepage today.


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