Drinkers in self-de­nial

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

NEW re­search shows many Aus­tralian drinkers clas­sify them­selves as low risk drinkers de­spite drink­ing at high risk lev­els and may be un­aware of their risk of al­co­hol-re­lated harm.

Led by Pro­fes­sor Si­mone Pet­ti­grew at Curtin Univer­sity, the re­search asked Aus­tralians to self­i­den­tify with var­i­ous drinker pro­to­types to de­ter­mine which of these were as­so­ci­ated with risky drink­ing and per­cep­tions of harm.

The re­search showed that 45 per cent of peo­ple clas­si­fied them­selves as so­cial drinkers, while 24 per cent de­scribed them­selves as oc­ca­sional drinkers, 23 per cent as light drinkers and 17 per cent as heavy drinkers.

Only 7 per cent clas­si­fied them­selves as binge drinkers, de­spite 75 per cent drink­ing at lev­els con­sid­ered risky for sin­gle oc­ca­sion al­co­hol use.

Among so­cial drinkers, 41 per cent be­lieved their al­co­hol use to be harm­ful, but 90 per cent re­ported drink­ing at high risk lev­els. Among those iden­ti­fy­ing as light and oc­ca­sional drinkers, more than half re­ported high-risk lev­els of con­sump­tion.

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