Australians are drinking less alcohol than they have in 50 years1, but sadly 26 Aussies are losing their lives every week because of alcohol-related causes.2
The consequences of excessive drinking are apparent every day, contributing to domestic violence and murders, causing a burden to the health system, the criminal justice system and reducing productivity at work3.
Alcohol abuse cost Australian society a massive estimated amount of $14.3 billion a year in 2010,4 and does not take into consideration the social and emotional consequences of those enduring a family member who is suffering from alcohol abuse.
In 2010, nearly $3 billion was spent on police, court and prison related expenses due to excessive drinking according to most recent data from the Australian Institute of Criminology.5
Effects on Home Life
There is a clear link between alcohol and domestic violence, and alcohol increases the occurrence and severity of the impacts according to the World Health Organisation.6
Worse still, 44% of murders by partners in the home in Australia between 2000 and 2006 were alcohol-related.7
Alcohol is believed to be a factor in up to half of partner violence in Australia8, although records are not consistently kept. Children are harmed because they witness the violence and alcohol increases the risk of children being neglected and abused.9
In an interview with Crescent Wealth Super, Dr Wodak, emeritus consultant and former head of St. Vincent’s Hospital Alcohol and Drug Service says, “alcohol is a very common cause of violence, including domestic violence, and alcohol dependence is very common among homeless Australians.”
“Alcohol and drug problems have huge health, social and economic costs in Australia yet it is not difficult to know what should be done to lessen their impact,” says Dr Alex Wodak.
Dr Wodak, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for service to medicine particularly in the area of alcohol and drugs, has seen the impacts of alcohol abuse first hand.
“Patients with alcohol-related medical, surgical and psychiatric conditions due to high risk drinking are very common in virtually every department of a modern hospital,” Dr Wodak says.
“It is striking how much is known about how to prevent alcohol-related problems but how little is done.”
According to Dr Wodak part of the problem is the way we drink. He says the top 10 percent of our heaviest drinkers account for almost half the alcohol drunk nationally. While the top 20 percent of heaviest drinkers account for 70 percent of alcohol intake.
Economically there are enormous losses. More than $6 billion was lost in economic productivity through premature death and absenteeism. And the cost of people under the influence turning up for work and not performing can’t be accounted for.
Another $3.6 billion a year is lost due to alcohol-related traffic accidents.
But as well as the economic cost there is the tragic human cost. The cost of losing a loved one in a car accident, or alcohol-fuelled fight, or the cost of living with a loved one with an alcohol abuse problem10.
Crescent Wealth Super sees itself as an active participant in preventing the harm caused by alcohol.
We actively avoid investments in the production, promotion or distribution of alcohol as well as gambling, tobacco, weaponry and interest-earning organisations.
We invest based on Islamic principles and have a philosophy aimed at creating a better world by supporting investments that benefit, rather than harm society.
In our investments, we consider and support the wellbeing of future generations.
We adhere to globally recognised standards for Islamic Investment principles as set out by dozens of the world’s leading Islamic finance scholars through The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).
If you want to switch or refer someone you know to a super fund that reflects the values you’re invested in, give one of our team a call on 1300 926 626.
If you or anyone you know needs help reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit them online.
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.