No one wants to end up in hospital after a night on the booze. No doctor or nurse wants to face physical and verbal abuse at the hands of a drunk patient. No one should be happy that emergency waiting rooms are full of injured Victorians who’ve had too much to drink.
Although the majority of Victorians drink moderately, there are too many in our community who continue to put themselves and others at risk of serious alcohol-related harm. Which is why VicHealth has done considerable research into why Victoria, and Australia, has a culture where risky or binge drinking is acceptable.
We’ve discovered, despite the stereotypes, there is no one ‘drinking culture’ in Victoria. People drink for a range of different reasons, in a range of different ways and at a range of different levels – from construction workers drinking to be ‘one of the boys’ to university colleges where binge drinking is just a ‘normal’ part of student life on campus. What’s considered acceptable in a rural community may not be okay in suburban Melbourne.
With so many different alcohol cultures, it makes sense that a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t going to effectively reduce risky drinking in Victoria. Which is why we developed the Alcohol Cultures Framework to guide public health action on alcohol culture change. We’ve also recently announced support for nine new creative projects to try to change a range of drinking cultures across the state.