The Harm of Alcohol Use: Understanding Alcohol Abuse In Australia

Australia is not only a country, it is a continent with a total land area of 7,688,287 square kilometers, home to over 26 million people including an indigenous population of over 800,000. Divided into six states and two territories, the most populous cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide all accounting for millions of inhabitants.

According to a report issued by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, it appears that the consumption of alcohol has become widespread and is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, injury, and premature death. The biggest concern seems to be that harmful levels of excessive alcohol consumption are associated with people aged only 14.

In Australia, alcohol is the most common substance treated by publicly funded services, and in 2022 there were 1,742 alcohol-related deaths, 91% of them due to chronic conditions. The stark reality of alcohol abuse fatalities is on the increase and is becoming a global issue and not just related to Australia.

In this blog, we will highlight the effects of alcohol, not just on the body and mind but the other detrimental harm it can cause to daily life and what to do when needing help.

What Harm Can A Bit Of Alcohol Consumption Do?

The answer is in the question. A bit of alcohol consumption relatively will cause no harm as long as you are aware and responsible for your drinking and know how and when to control it.

Alcohol is a legalised substance but comes with recommendations and limits to ensure the safety and well-being of consumers. Most people drink to socialise and may have the odd drink or two to help feel relaxed, and then call it a day. Alcohol appears to help ease stress and elevate mood promoting a good all-round happy feeling, but this powerful substance also can be a devil in disguise because as soon as you succumb to its grip and it takes over, you can only experience unpleasantness. Overdrinking or having one too many can lead to the typical hangover the next morning, where you are feeling thirsty, tired, lacking energy, feeling sick, or persistent headache. The symptoms are quite unpleasant, and so many people have vowed never to drink again. But they do.

The reason some people continue to drink alcohol, even knowing the harsh effects it has on their well-being, boils down primarily to peer pressure, socialising, or lack of awareness. Others may find alcohol helps to cope with negative emotions. Other factors contributing to alcohol abuse result in developing a regular habit or, after regular use becoming tolerant to the substance.

When someone becomes dependent on alcohol and struggles to quit, the consequences of addiction escalate into severe health concerns, some of which may be life-threatening.

Effects Of Alcohol On Mental Health

Prolonged use of alcohol is associated with serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease, and some kinds of cancer, as well as other physical disorders. However, many people forget that alcohol abuse also has negative effects on mental health and can lead to severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and mental instability. 

It should be remembered that alcohol is a depressant and can disrupt the neurotransmitters in the brain and affect feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. Ironically, many people drink to feel an uplift in their mood but shortly after having a satisfying experience, the effects of alcohol can rapidly swamp any form of contentment and make negative feelings more intense.

How many times have you witnessed someone having a good time, laughing and enjoying themselves over a few drinks, then after drinking too many, they become depressed, maybe start to cry, and all their problems seem to come to the surface? Alcohol affects people in different ways, but the addiction remains the same, sometimes spiralling out of control.

Domestic Violence And Alcohol-Related Harm

As alcohol addiction increases, there is also heightened alcohol-related violence, including domestic violence.

It is comprehensible to see that family and friends are the main targets for this kind of abuse as they are perhaps the only people urging an addict to seek help and desperately need solutions. An alcohol addict is often reported between 23% and 65% of incidents relating to family violence, and according to the Australian Institute of Criminology, the data for perpetrators of violence due to alcohol use is alarming:

  • 1 in 4 Australians were victims of alcohol-related verbal abuse.
  • 13% feared someone under the influence of alcohol.
  • 4.5% of Australians aged 14 years or older had been physically abused by someone under the influence of alcohol.

These figures present major challenges for government and communities as the harm associated with the consumption of alcohol, especially among young people, is at an ever-high level and continues to grow.

The impact of domestic violence through alcohol-fuelled perpetrators is a major concern and notoriously difficult, although the Australian government has taken measures to address underlying causes associated with violence and alcohol misuse.

What Are The Legal Implications Of Alcohol Abuse?

Alcohol is a legalised substance but has its recommendations and limits. Alcohol laws in Australia, as in most countries, have a limit for the safe consumption of alcohol. This limit is aimed at helping reduce the harmful effects alcohol may have on individuals, families, and communities and avoid damaging effects as a result of overdrinking.

The legal age to consume alcohol is 18, and it becomes illegal to sell alcohol to anyone underage or who is already drunk. Drink driving is also illegal and can be prosecuted if someone driving has a blood alcohol concentration count equal to or more than 0.05. Other laws on where you can drink may vary from state to territory.

Alcohol has a powerful effect on the body. Although one feels capable of driving or operating machinery, the risks of causing harm either to oneself or another person are extremely high and not worth thinking about the dire consequences that could prevail.

Other situations may implicate legal action, such as social disturbance, anti-social behaviour, theft, or corruption with the intent of obtaining alcohol and other illegal activities,

How Does Alcohol Abuse Impact Family And Work?

When someone develops an alcohol addiction, they need alcohol every day, and as time goes by, they need more and more of the substance. Money is always going to be an issue as alcohol is not cheap, and most addicts require high-strength volume to satisfy their needs, resourcing mainly spirits or high alcohol content beer. Most addicts prefer to go without food and basic daily requirements rather than go without their alcohol.

However, when funds decrease as demand for alcohol consumption grows, they usually turn to family and friends to help fund their addiction or find any possible source, whether right or wrong, to find enough money to buy alcohol to satisfy their intense desire.

Families are strained and pressurised to the point of desperation as they only want to help and find solutions but can only withstand so much. Breaking points happen too frequently as a consequence of not keeping up with demand or failing to seek professional help. Living with an alcoholic can be a nightmare; only those who experience such a challenge can describe the pain and damage thrown at them through the harmful use of alcohol.

Drug use has an impact on work and can be detrimental to keeping a job or finding yourself suddenly unemployed. Many companies today, around the globe, adhere to strict health and safety issues in the workplace to protect employees from hazardous situations. When someone has an alcohol problem, they are less focused, suffer fatigue and mental sluggishness, and their physical reactions are radically reduced. Due to the enormous rate of substance abuse, more and more companies demand drug screening tests as part of their health and safety policy. Anyone showing signs of substance abuse may expect disciplinary procedures or immediate dismissal.

Family, friends, and work probably form the closest relationship in a person’s life but that link can be shattered and destroyed completely when alcohol addiction takes control and the only concern is obtaining more alcohol to satisfy impulses.

What Are The Physical Signs Of Alcohol Abuse?

When somebody has developed an alcohol addiction, the most common sign to identify the problem is the fact they constantly need to drink more alcohol. Along with that, physical signs may include the following:

  • Red Nose: This is typical of an alcoholic due to the broken capillaries on the nose and face.
  • Bloodshot Eyes: The small red veins in the eyes break down.
  • Jaundice: The eyes and skin take on a yellow colour, indicating liver damage.
  • Red Palms: This can be due to the broken vein capillaries.
  • Tremors: Shaking of hands or feeling unsteady.

These physical signs generally appear during the third and last stage of alcoholism and may have detrimental effects on the body. However, before finding oneself in these last stages, it is crucial to recognise the physical signs of alcohol abuse to intervene and find professional help to prevent the disorder from becoming more severe and reduce the risk of a life-threatening disorder.

It should be remembered that anyone showing signs of vomiting, seizures, confusion, or unconsciousness needs immediate medical help. 

Can I Find Treatment For Alcohol Use In Australia?

Of course. There are many private detox and rehab centres located across Australia, mainly in the major cities where drug addiction may be more prevalent, and they offer luxury amenities with specialised treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. The facilities outline treatments to address most substance abuse and mental health issues associated with alcohol abuse, and undoubtedly, they are aware of alcohol-related disease or injury cases that they can address appropriately.

However, the cost of private luxury rehab and specialised drug treatment, together with mental health issues and alcohol-related disease, comes with a walloping price tag and could only be available to a small minority of people searching for an answer, or alternatively, without this kind of money, having to wait until a slot becomes available to get government-funded help when for many, it is too late.

As alcohol abuse in Australia grows, facilities to treat the problem are popping up everywhere but mainly in condensed areas where there is more demand, and many of these facilities are not regulated; this is making an ever-growing concern for those wanting to part with their money somewhat reluctant and prevents an addict in dire need of help to wait longer than necessary and could be too late for them by the time arrangements are made.

Harmful Alcohol Use Does Have Another Option

When public health issues are restrained in your country, and life-threatening conditions are your top priority, either for yourself or a loved one, it is normal for you to search high and low to find any kind of alternative or option available at an affordable price.  $30,000 (US Dollars) per month may seem the norm, and the going rate for a 28-day luxury private rehab in the major cities of Australia may be OK and acceptable for those living in the area and who can afford that kind of money. Alcohol addiction is no different for someone who lives thousands of miles away or for those who may have no access or means to even consider that option, and these financial issues can only put more pressure on family and friends and even more strain on the individual who has admitted to addiction and desperately seeks help.

Bali, an island in Indonesia, is only around 7 hours away from the nearest airports in Australia, where luxury rehab facilities can provide both conventional and holistic treatment to ensure you achieve a long-lasting recovery. Instead of moving to a busy city in Australia to distract you from your habits, you may find that the tranquil, lush landscape and feeling of reconnecting to nature in Bali has an edge to deciding on your rehab journey, starting your first step to recovery with our paradisic backdrop.

Sivana Bali is a first-class luxury rehab facility in Bali offering exceptional services to all our patients struggling with substance addiction; we provide alcohol detox treatment and rehab for those struggling with alcohol addiction and offer ongoing support and aftercare to ensure each patient achieves sobriety and can begin their journey to a healthier life.

We offer an affordable option to those living in remote Australia or those finding Australian alcohol rehabs too expensive and who may find an alternative option by finding their solution with us in the tranquil, serene surroundings of Bali.

If you need further information or are concerned about alcohol abuse, please call us today. Our friendly staff will gladly talk you through our services and treatment programmes and give you a full breakdown of our inclusive services. You may be surprised as to how our prices compare to the large cities of Australia and how many of our patients have referred us for going beyond their expectations.

Contact Us

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *