New data has revealed Australians are drinking more during the coronavirus pandemic.
New data has revealed Australians are drinking more during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alarm bells ringing over rise in alcohol consumption

NEW data has revealed Australians are drinking alcohol more than they usually would during the pandemic.

The study commissioned by Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), in partnership with YouGov Galaxy, showed 70 per cent are drinking more than usual while 20 per cent are buying more than usual with more than 30 per cent using alcohol daily.

Professor Emma Miller, a senior lecturer at the college of public health and medicine at Flinders University, said the long-term effects of continued elevated alcohol consumption were very serious for all concerned.

"Over a period of time, there's a direct link with cancer, of course - breast cancer in woman and bowel cancer in men," she said.

"There's a dose-response relationship so the more people drink, the more damage they do and the more likely they'll develop cancer."

"Over a period of time, if this was to continue, you'd be greatly increasing the risk of many cancers but particularly breast cancer in woman and bowel cancer in men."

However, Professor Miller said it was likely certain other types of drinking would decrease as a result of the isolation.

"There'll be some people that will drink less, like social drinkers who only tend to drink when they go out to the bar with their friends," Professor Miller said.

Pubs have been closed for almost a month as a result of the venue closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Professor Miller said it was important that people be mindful of their consumption during this time for the safety of themselves and others.

"Finding other things to do, rather than thinking 'I have nothing to do, I might as well drink' - we've found in our research that shows that if you focus on how alcohol makes you put on weight, gives you a bad complexion and causes relationship troubles, all those short-term things is helpful in ameliorating the need to drink," Professor Miller said.

If you or someone you know needs help contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service on 1800 250 015.


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