Australia – the drunkest nation during the Pandemic

 Australia – the drunkest nation during the Pandemic

Australians drank their way through the year 2020, having been named as the heaviest drinkers in the world as per a leading survey. According to the Global Drug Survey 2021, more than thirty-two thousand people across twenty-two countries participated. The results revealed that Aussies got drunk 27 times on average throughout the year in stark comparison to the global average of 15 times.

Caterina Georgi, who is the chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, pointed out that the figures indicate a distressing picture. She further elaborated how Australia not only is ahead in terms of people reported getting drunk but also in seeking emergency medical aid due to alcohol.

Gradual increase in alcohol has led to additional problems such as increased family violence callouts. With the covid environment forcing everyone to stay indoors, people sought drinking as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. Taking this as a cue to maximise their profit, alcohol companies soon started to intensify their marketing campaigns.

This certainly seemed to have worked as there has been a $3.3 billion increase in the sale of alcohol in the year 2020. Giorgi commented on how this trend of consumerism has been negatively affecting people; the fact that the companies would prey on the vulnerable state of people to sell their products exposes their intent.

A joint study between Turning Point and Monash University has found that ambulance responses to violence and harm related to alcohol had increased by nine per cent last year in Victoria. This is suggestive of how the pandemic took a toll on people’s mental health; things that exacerbated the situation were the lack of normal activities and support system due to lockdown.

Stockpiling of alcohol during the months when restrictions were imposed led to the increase in the sale of alcohol. This is still an upward trend, hence the rate of drunkenness among Australians isn’t as surprising.

Varsha Saini

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