Beyond the Drinker: Alcohol’s Hidden Costs in Australia
The societal cost of alcohol use is large and most of the cost measured in existing studies were costs or harms to the drinker him/herself or for services to the drinker. But the negative consequences of alcohol use often extend to people other than the drinker. Understanding interpersonal costs attributable to others’ drinking is of substantial policy significance. This study comprehensively estimated the costs of harms from others’ drinking, including alcohol-related traffic accidents, crime, violence, productivity loss, caring for drinkers and their dependents, and loss of quality of life due to others’ drinking, etc. The estimated cost of alcohol consumption to the people around the drinker is huge, accounting to nearly $20 billion each year in Australia, which provides strong research evidence to the government and inform policy makers to take actions to reduce burdens that drinking causes to the people around drinkers.
Dr Jason (Heng) Jiang is a Health Economist at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), Department of Public Health, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University. He conducts quantitative and economic analyses in relation to the harmful use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, with particular research interest on estimating impacts of policy or program interventions on alcohol, tobacco and drug use, and related social and health issues.
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