Dealing with alcohol-related harm and the night-time economy
Miller, Peter, Tindall, Jennifer, Sonderlund, Anders, Groombridge, Daniel, Lecathelinais, Christophe, Gillham, Karen, McFarlane, Emma, de Groot, Florentine, Droste, Nicolas, Sawyer, Amy, Palmer, Darren, Warren, Ian and Wiggers, John 2012, Dealing with alcohol-related harm and the night-time economy, National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund, Canberra, A. C. T..
Alcohol-related problems are a major cause of social disorder and illness in Australia. In particular, problems associated with the night-time economies of urban and regional centres cause substantial community concern and are a considerable drain on police, community and health resources. The estimated cost of alcohol to the community is $15.3 billion, including costs associated with crime, violence, patient treatment, loss of productivity and premature deaths in 2004–05 (Collins 2008). Alcohol has also been identified as a factor in around three quarters of assaults and incidents of offensive behaviour on the street (Buss 1995). Previous research has identified several issues that contribute to the levels of short-term harm associated with risky drinking. These include: excessive consumption at licensed premises, consumption in public areas and lack of transport and security in entertainment precincts (Homel et al. 1992; Graham & Homel 2008).
Drinking in licensed venues is another predictor of harm and public disorder. More than half of offences occurring on the street have been associated with licensed premises in Australia (Buss 1995). A complex range of factors increase risky drinking and associated harms on licensed premises including: aspects of patron mix; levels of comfort, boredom, and intoxication; promotions that cause mass intoxication; and the behaviour of security/bouncers (Homel et al. 1992). Violence has also been shown to be perpetuated by poor venue management, lax police surveillance, lack of transport options for patrons, and inappropriate bureaucratic controls and legislation (Homel et al. 1992). This project aims to provide evidence-based knowledge regarding the implementation and impact of innovative local initiatives directed at alcohol-related harms.
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