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the impact of

alcohol on health

The health harms of alcohol are significant. In 2010, there were 1,143 deaths in Queensland attributed to alcohol. Queensland Department of Health data shows that there were 25,159 alcohol-related hospitalisations in 2012, a 57 per cent rise since 2002. In addition, the number of treatment episodes where alcohol was the principal drug of concern have also increased by 45 per cent between 2005-06 and 2010-11. The health harms of alcohol are significant and increasing, resulting in a substantial human toll.

alcohol & illness

 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), drinking alcohol puts you at risk of developing physical and mental health problems, behavioural disorders, and alcohol dependence. This includes more than 200 diseases and physical conditions including liver cirrhosis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

 

A significant proportion of the disease burden is a result of car crashes, violence, and suicide. Fatal alcohol-related injuries tend to occur in relatively younger age groups.

alcohol & canCer

 

Alcohol causes cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies alcohol as a group 1 carcinogen. Alcohol consumption can cause cancer of the breast, bowel, liver, mouth, pharynx, larynx, and oesophagus. The risk of alcohol related cancer is linked to volume of consumption. When it comes to cancer risk, there is no ‘safe’ threshold. The only way to reduce the risk of an alcohol-related cancer is to reduce alcohol consumption.

rates of consumption

 

 

Queenslanders consume 11.03 litres of pure alcohol per person, which is more than the national average of 10.27. The highest level of per capita consumption is found in Inner Brisbane. Other areas with high levels include the Gold Coast and other regional cities.

The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol recommend consuming no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce the lifetime risk of harm, and no more than four on a single occasion to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury.

80%

of Queenslanders drink alcohol

37%

drink to get drunk

14%

typically drink more than 6 standard drinks

20%

were unable to stop drinking

24%

felt remorse after drinking

So, what next?