Australians are drinking fewer times a week and are more concerned about problem drinking, but still have a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards their own drinking habits, new DrinkWise Australia research shows.
DrinkWise Chair, the Hon Trish Worth, said a recent survey showed that more people recognised issues around alcohol misuse compared with five years ago, and were heeding messages such as not drinking when pregnant, or acting responsibly around children. However there was an increased perception that they were ‘still in control’ even after they had a lot to drink.
“Our benchmarking study shows signs of cultural change in people’s attitudes towards drinking,” Ms Worth said.
“There’s a clear trend that more people recognise the issue of problem drinking in society than 5 years ago, with 66 per cent of respondents now indicating a concern that their drinking can have a negative effect on them and people around them (up 5 per cent) and 77 per cent believing our society has a drinking problem (up 7 per cent).
“Significantly more people also believe there should be stricter enforcement for being drunk and disorderly in public (84 per cent – up 10 per cent).
“We’re also moderating our drinking habits, with only 10 per cent of respondents indicating they consume alcohol at least 5 days a week, compared with 21 per cent in 2007.”
Ms Worth said more respondents believe pregnant women should not drink alcohol (88 per cent – up 4 per cent) and that it’s important to drink sensibly around those who are underage (93 per cent – up 5 per cent).
“Both of these issues have been the subject of DrinkWise’s recent education campaigns encouraging responsible drinking, so we’re encouraged that these important messages are getting through to the public,” Ms Worth said.
“On the flip side, there has been a worrying increase in the number of people who believe it’s OK to supply alcohol to people under the age of 18 (15 per cent – up 3 per cent) or who believe they’re still in control even after they’ve had a lot to drink (41 per cent – up 7 per cent).
“Shifting cultural attitudes requires generational change. This research shows that, while there have been some positive gains, there are still deeper underlying attitudes that require further efforts to achieve a long term cultural shift.”
DrinkWise Australia has adopted a long-term approach towards generational change in the way people drink through the development of national information and education campaigns that inform and support the community to change this culture.
The initiatives seek to make a cultural change in the way Australians approach drinking, and to foster a more responsible drinking culture and ultimately a safer and healthier community.
DrinkWise Australia is a not-for-profit social change organisation dedicated to promoting a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia. It does this through national information and education campaigns, partnerships with community leaders and organisations, and the development of practical strategies and resources that better support the community in relation to alcohol use and misuse.
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