By David Sledge
While drinking and driving is a major problem related to alcohol abuse there are serious consequences to excessive drinking.
As the year draws to a close and we reflect on the advancements of 2012, we also remember the incidents that caught our attention, the most publicised one being the death of 20 year old Thomas Kelly. The young man was killed while out at the Kings Cross District in Sydney’s CBD.
Violence caused by excessive drinking has become an issue around Australia and brawls, robberies, assaults and domestic violence are the most common violent attacks that have been linked to excessive alcohol consumption.
One of the biggest obstacles in the fight against alcohol related crime is the culture of excessive drinking that exists in Australian culture. Even among teenagers and from a young age, binge drinking is associated with celebrations and having fun. This has been ingrained in the youth and they carry this attitude with them into adulthood, leading to violence.
According to research the rates of physical and verbal abuse by a person affected by alcohol are more than twice the rate for other drug types. Researchers have also found a strong link between the amount of alcohol consumed and the degree of aggression demonstrated by the drinker. The effects of alcohol on the cognitive and behavioural nature of the drinker often lead to increased risk-taking, reduced anxiety regarding possible repercussions for their behaviour, heightened emotionality, impulsive behaviour, distorted interpretations of events and inability to resolve incidents verbally. All these can escalate a situation into a violent one, often resulting in injuries and even death as in the case of Thomas Kelly.