MORE than four million Australians know families whose children may not be properly cared for due to alcohol abuse, a survey has found.
The research, released by the Salvation Army yesterday also revealed that in the past year, problem drinking had caused disruptions in more than three million Australian families.
Meanwhile, 1.4 million people reported that someone in their immediate or extended family was not able to undertake normal social activities due to alcohol use.
The Salvation Army’s clinical director of recovery services, Gerard Byrne, said the findings were alarming.
“Alcohol is the most widely used and widely accepted drug in today’s society and yet we know people will often drink harmfully – without even considering its impacts,” Mr Byrne said in a statement.
“Many people who seek assistance from the Salvation Army state that alcohol has been a central or contributing factor to their situation.”
The Roy Morgan telephone survey of more than 1500 Australians aged 14 and over was released as part of the Salvation Army’s Alcohol Awareness campaign, which this year had a clear message, Mr Byrne said.
“We are simply asking people to consider their drinking choices and to reflect on how their abuse of alcohol affects themselves and others,” he said.
“It is very clear there are large numbers of people out there who know families where children aren’t being cared for properly, according to them, because of alcohol.
“To think that a child feels unsafe due to the alcohol use of a family member is very
“As a result, the amount of alcohol that is consumed and the effects that this has on children, families and friends is never really taken into account.
“As this new research shows, many children are ultimately paying the cost due to alcohol abuse by a family member or family members.”
Findings of the Salvation Army’s survey into alcohol consumption include:
* 2.9 million know families where they think children may be unsafe due to alcohol use.
* 2 million say alcohol has caused problems with family members.
* 1.9 million say drinking disrupted the daily life of an immediate or extended family member.
* 1.4 million say there was interruption to school, work or other commitments due to alcohol.
* 150,000 say alcohol has always caused problems with members in their immediate or extended family.