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Informal Assessment Task – Alcohol & Other Drugs

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There are many up to date statistics and trends that represent young people and binge drinking with the current Australian population. Majority of these statistics show that drinking under-age has actually DECREASED within the last few years, as the proportion of 12-15-year old’s and 16-17-year-olds abstaining from alcohol increased in 2010 (from 69.9% in 2007 to 77.2% in 2010 and from 24.4% to 31.6%, respectively).

These statistics show that while the majority of the population has become more educated on the topic of alcohol, the risks are still the same, this is proved by alcoholthinkagain.com.au as they state that In 2010, 1 in 5 people aged 14 years or older consumed alcohol at a level that put them at risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over their lifetime, and this remained stable between 2007 (20.3%) and 2010 (20.1%). However, the number of people drinking in risky quantities increased from 3.5 million in 2007 to 3.7 million in 2010.

Going too far when it comes to alcohol consumption can easily put an individual at risk and become dangerous to your body and brain. Short term effects of binge drinking can result in hangovers (bad ones), nausea, vomiting, memory loss and possibly injury. Some of the long-term effects can include physical and psychological dependence on alcohol, possible increased risk of neurological disorders or heart problems and sexual problems (especially male impotency).

This may even end your life as it can give you the risk of cancer in the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breasts. Binge drinking does not help you socially or economically either, as you could have limited career opportunities due to a conviction for an alcohol-related offense, a limited group of friends, due to constantly socializing with other people who drink to excess and impacts on work performance or even financial problems due to excessive spending on alcohol.

Alcohol also affects the community in many ways, shapes and forms. In Australia, there has been an epidemic of abuse. This includes regular physical abuse, coward punching, sexual assault or rape, child abuse and domestic violence which can happen to everyone, meaning no one is safe from potentially becoming a victim of abuse. It has been shown that the latest estimates of alcohol-related harm show that it causes around 3,200 deaths and 81,000 hospitalizations every year.

Infact, Over the past year according to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission Australia spent 14.1 billion dollars on alcohol in 2012 beating out meat, public transport, and even medicinal expenses. This can impact a whole community if everyone is drunk all the time, as moral of the community plummets with no way to raise, this can, therefore, affect everyone at work and school, which will lower productivity and may lead to people losing their job and falling in a pit which can lead to depression.

A new law surrounding the issue of binge drinking could save a lot of people from medical bills, pain, and even death. Even though there have been countermeasures to try and stop or reduce binge drinking it has only barely worked and has only reduced the percentage of people that binge drinking by a minuscule amount which in the grand scheme of things is realistically nothing of what it should be made too.

My proposal to the Australian Government would be to raise the age limit for drinking alcohol to 21. This would not only protect young people from the brain damage that can be caused by too much alcohol and the harms associated with being drunk, such as car accidents and violence. This would also hurt the number of young binge drinkers as they would not be able to purchase alcohol from any public distributors, but at least push the boundaries to the point where binge drinking would only affect adults as you are considered an adult at age 21, not a young person.

Overall, binge drinking is dangerous for everyone involved including yourself, the people around you, friends, family, and your surrounding community. Although we can make the effects of binge drinking minuscule compared to other problems if we introduce new laws which will help everyone involved.

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