Ban on alcohol delivery services proposed after rise in alcoholism during Covid pandemic

Calls grow for alcohol delivery services to be BANNED after spike in alcoholism during pandemic

  • Alcohol support services call for alcohol delivery services to be banned
  • It comes amid an alarming rise in Australians’ drinking during the Covid pandemic
  • SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services says limiting access to alcohol is key
  • Experts say more money is needed to help people seeking support services

Experts are calling for a ban on same-day alcohol delivery services as alcohol support groups are inundated with people seeking help in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

Just two months after Australia was plunged into lockdown in March 2020, the country’s top doctors have warned Australians to cut back on alcohol consumption as alcohol consumption soars.

It came after a study by the Alcohol Research and Education Foundation found that 70% of Australians had turned to the bottle, with a third saying they buy alcohol daily.

Several other studies over the next two years documented the same alarming trend, with the World Drug Survey released in September 2020 revealing that two in five Australian respondents reported an increase in their alcohol consumption.

By May the following year, the Victorian Alcohol and Drugs Association found that 70% of its support agencies had rated alcohol as either listed ‘much more’ or ‘a little more’ as a drug of concern .

A number of studies have shown alcohol consumption has skyrocketed in Australia since the start of the Covid pandemic

Now support services are calling for action to be taken to minimize the dangers of alcohol as they continue to battle the ripple effects facing some communities.

The executive director of the SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services, Michael White, has warned that there are significant concerns in the treatment sector about the rise in the number of people with alcohol use problems.

He said limiting access to alcohol and introducing advertising campaigns warning of its effects would reduce the harm caused by alcohol consumption.

“Thanks to Covid, we’ve seen a significant increase in people coming forward for drug and alcohol use,” he said The advertiser.

“Fast door-to-door alcohol delivery by large retail chains is a very bad idea.

“No same day alcohol delivery would be a very good thing. When you have very easy access to alcohol, the encouragement to drink, a culture of drinking…people’s drinking is actually driven by systemic issues and not by their personal choices.

Ben Headlam, of the non-profit health support organization Sonder, said demand for his company’s services had increased for support involving alcohol use.

Alcohol assistance experts are calling for same-day delivery services to be banned.  Pictured: Same-day liquor delivery service Jimmy brings

Alcohol assistance experts are calling for same-day delivery services to be banned. Pictured: Same-day liquor delivery service Jimmy brings

He said the trend appeared to be “universal” across Australia since the start of the pandemic.

Melissa Shee, director of Uniting Communities SA’s new residential alcohol and drug outpatient service, said more money needed to be injected into programs to address the problem.

She has witnessed an increase in the number of people attending appointments and a higher level of engagement which she says requires much greater resources.

South Australia is not the only state where there have been calls to tighten alcohol delivery practices.

In July last year, NSW introduced new laws for same-day alcohol delivery to crack down on sales to minors and heavily intoxicated people.

The legislation has made it an offense to deliver alcohol to public places – such as parks and beaches – between midnight or 11 p.m. on Sundays and 9 a.m.

According to the rules, companies can be charged if the order is delivered to an underage or intoxicated person as well as if the order is outside of delivery hours.

About Rhonda Lee

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