A Rant – On Alcohol

In Australia excessive alcohol consumption is a huge burden on society, not only as a direct result of death and disease but also due to the effects that it has on the families, and local communities such as criminal activity, vandalism, aggression and inability to maintain work. In 2003  alcohol accounted for 3.3% of the burden of disease in Australia (NHRA ).  An estimated 3,200 people die annually due to excessive consumption of alcohol and there are 81,000 people hospitalised for this reason.( Aust. Govt 2012). It is unknown how many hospital admissions are indirectly due to alcohol consumption but it is estimated that there are huge numbers as alcohol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, overweight and obesity, risks to unborn babies, liver disease, mental health conditions and dementia, self-harm and trauma to both the drinker and others.

As an intensive care nurse I have experienced first hand the effects of alcohol in relation to traffic accidents, aggression and violent acts to others, health personnel, police and other emergency services.

North Shore Advocate Jan 29 1986 copy

Alcohol in Australia is a socially acceptable activity. Social events revolve around drinking and sports, such as football, are sponsored by alcohol companies. Early childhood education about the effects of alcohol need to be undertaken – a policy based, public health intervention.

 

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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