Very interesting reading in FARE’s analysis of the drafts of the National Alcohol Strategy:
The strategy has been modified to re-frame alcohol consumption as a positive part of Australian culture. This is closely in line with alcohol industry rhetoric, but is at odds with the objective of the strategy which is to minimise harm from alcohol.
“Australia is regularly reported or casually referred to as having an “alcohol culture” where not consuming alcohol can be viewed as being “unAustralian”. There are many Australians for whom this perception of the cultural norm contributes to increased risk of serious harm and the development of harmful drinking patterns. Examples of alcohol being embedded in the Australian culture include drinking to intoxication being seen as a rite of passage to adulthood, the perception that celebration and consuming alcohol are intrinsically linked, public figures are glorified for drinking alcohol, widespread alcohol availability and accessibility of cheap alcohol products, social and peer pressure/expectation to consume alcohol and exposure to alcohol advertising and promotion.”
“Alcohol is an intrinsic part of Australian culture and it plays a central role in most people’s social lives. Research clearly illustrates that whether people are celebrating, socialising, networking, relaxing, commiserating, or rewarding themselves—alcohol plays an integral role.”