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101 East
Unquenchable thirst
101 East asks if Australia is losing its war on binge-drinking amid an epidemic of alcohol-related crime and violence.
Last Modified: 04 May 2012 04:36

Drinking alcohol has long been a part of Australian culture.

But today, the country is suffering huge social and economic costs from its love for the drink.

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A recent report estimated that the tangible cost for alcohol misuse is $25bn a year, including medical expenses, lost wages and productivity.

Ten million Australians experience negative effects from other people's drinking, and 70,000 fall victim to alcohol-related assaults.

With an increasing number of young people binge-drinking, children as young as 10 are seeking treatment for alcohol addiction.

Police and hospital authorities are urging Australians to sober up but face formidable challenges from a powerful alcohol industry and an entrenched drinking culture.

Despite new laws to curb risky drinking behaviour, anti-alcohol campaigners are fighting for stronger restrictions on the industry; and for people to change drinking habits, starting at home.

101 East explores the real cost of alcohol in Australia.

 
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Al Jazeera
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