The harms associated with alcohol are equivalent to, or greater than, those for illicit drugs.
Examples of these harms include:
- Contributing (second only to tobacco) to Australia’s burden of disease—with alcohol use being linked as a risk factor/contributor to more than 200 chronic diseases (including seven types of cancer);3
- Acting as one of Australia’s leading causes of drug-related death (second only to tobacco)—with more than 5,500 deaths estimated to be attributable to alcohol annually;4
- Contributing significantly to violence and assaults—including domestic, family and intimate partner violence;5
- High economic and service delivery impacts on community services—including policing health, justice and local government services;6
- Contributing to avoidable injury and road accidents;7
- Cause of birth defects and behavioural and neurodevelopmental abnormalities including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) which have life-long impacts; and
- Reductions in productivity in the workplace.
(Introduction: NATIONAL ALCOHOL STRATEGY 2018–2026)