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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Poll finds Canberrans consuming most alcohol at home

An annual alcohol poll has shown three-quarters (76%) of ACT residents consume alcohol most frequently at home rather than in social settings such as pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Taken before COVID-19 restrictions, the Annual Alcohol Poll 2020: Behaviours and Attitudes, conducted by YouGov Galaxy, found the ACT figures slightly above the national average of 73%.

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) CEO Caterina Giorgi said the trends shown are not surprising. 

“Despite what many of us assume, people who drink alcohol are more likely to do so at home – and this is true even before the lockdown measures,” she said.

“This is the case whether people are younger or older, women or men, or living in major cities or regional areas.”

The poll also found 67% of ACT residents reported to consuming the largest amount of alcohol on one occasion at home, in line with the national average.

Ms Giorgi said these statistics were concerning, based on the affects of alcohol on several aspects of the community as a whole. 

“Drinking in the home is widespread, yet we don’t often think about the harms from alcohol occurring in the home because they’re largely invisible,” she said.

“Alcohol increases the severity and frequency of family violence and contributes to a range of cancers and alcohol dependence. These harms have significant negative impacts on children, families and whole communities.”

The same poll found 17% of all Australians drink more than 10 standard drinks per week, while 39% reported drinking between one and 10 standard drinks per week.

However, the poll reported one-third of Australians had reduced their alcohol consumption in the past 12 months; with 48% of those saying it was to be healthier.

It also analysed online alcohol retail, finding of those who had ordered products, 23% had done it weekly and 44% had it delivered within two hours.

“Retailers are pushing alcohol into homes at all hours, with delivery as soon as 30 minutes,” Ms Giorgi said.  

“These practices are contributing to riskier alcohol use, and common-sense measures such as introducing a two-hour delay between online orders and delivery are needed to prevent harm.”

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