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Drink habits better, but…

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 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 five 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 five per cent) and 77 per cent believing our society has a drinking problem (up seven per cent).

‘Significantly more people also believe there should be stricter enforcement for being drunk and disorderly in public (84 per cent – up ten per cent).

‘We’re also moderating our drinking habits, with only ten per cent of respondents indicating they consume alcohol at least five 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 four per cent) and that it’s important to drink sensibly around those who are underage (93 per cent – up five per cent).

‘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 three per cent) or who believe they’re still in control even after they’ve had a lot to drink (41 per cent – up seven per cent)’ Ms Worth said.

‘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.’

See more about DrinkWise Australia at http://www.drinkwise.org.au/


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