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Alcohol injuries

1-minute read

Many Australians drink some alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is a major cause of road and other accidents, violence, crime, liver injury and brain damage. Even drinking small amounts of alcohol increases your cancer risk.

According to the National Drug Household Survey in 2019:

  • About 1 in 5 alcohol drinkers aged 14 or older had put themselves or others at risk of injury or harm while drinking in the previous 12 months.
  • Over 1 in 5 Australians aged 14 or older had been a victim of an alcohol related incident in 2019. This included many types of abuse, including verbal or physical abuse.
  • Adults aged 18-24 were more likely to binge drink than the rest of the population. Men were more likely to binge drink than women.

1 in 4 people drink at a risky level on a single occasion at least once a month. (More than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion.)

Follow the links below to find trusted information about the health effects of alcohol use and injuries resulting from alcohol use.

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Last reviewed: September 2020

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Alcohol & Drug Related Brain Injury - Synapse

Alcohol is a poison, or neurotoxin, that can cause injury to the brain. This is known as Alcohol Related Brain Injury (ARBI). Other drugs - which fall into the category of stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens - can also lead to impairments.

Read more on Synapse - Australia's Brain Injury Organisation website

Alcohol related thiamine deficiency - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Wernicke –Korsakoff’s syndrome is a form of serious brain injury resulting from a lack of thiamine that most commonly occurs in alcohol-dependent people

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Guidelines for low-risk drinking - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Australians use alcohol to celebrate, commiserate, relax and have fun. However, alcohol is a significant cause of injury and ill health, violence, crime, family breakdown, road accidents, loss of productivity in workplaces and death in Australia.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Alcohol: The health, social, and financial burden | myVMC

Various cultures may have very different attitudes, beliefs, norms and expectancies about drinking and this is reflected in the behaviours of their drinkers. In Western societies, beliefs about alcohol are inconsistent and sometimes negative and therefore alcohol is associated with problems such as anti-social and violent behaviour. That said, alcohol-related problems are associated with excessive drinking in any culture. In general, the majority of people consume alcohol in moderation.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Drink / Drug driving | National Centre for Farmer Health

Drink driving is a significant cause of death and permanent injury. You might think that the risk of being ‘caught’ drinking and driving is less in country areas.  You also might think that you are okay to drive after a few drinks, but you are wrong. Read more...

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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder - NT.GOV.AU

Diagnosis, symptoms and treatment of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Read more on NT Health website

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - Synapse

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) refers to a range of impairments that can develop in an individual due to exposure to alcohol in the womb.

Read more on Synapse - Australia's Brain Injury Organisation website

Alcohol related dementia | Dementia Australia

What is alcohol related dementia? Alcohol related dementia, as the name suggests, is a form of dementia related to the excessive drinking of alcohol. This affects memory, learning and other mental functions. Korsakoff’s syndrome and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are particular forms of alcohol related brain injury which may be related to alcohol related dementia.

Read more on Dementia Australia website

LiveLighter - About Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks contain a lot of kilojoules and have no nutritional benefits. To drink fewer kilojoules, cut back or avoid alcohol altogether.

Read more on LiveLighter website

Alcohol Avoidance - BluePages

Find out if avoiding alcohol is likely to help.

Read more on e-hub Web Services - Australian National University (ANU) website

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