Many people associate the holidays with drinking and doing so in excess but it is also the time of year when the most road accidents, violent assaults and alcohol related hospital admissions take place so drinkers need to drink responsibly and moderately to avoid becoming another statistic.
Now as the festive season is in full swing, there has been a call from Tasmania’s Alcohol and Drug Service Clinical Director, Dr Adrian Reynolds to rethink the advertising of alcohol. He says that hospital staff and families are the ones who suffer and are left picking up the pieces when people’s excessive drinking leads to serious injuries.
The doctor also stated:
“Advertising and promotion is of concern,” Dr Reynolds said.
“I think we need to do something about that and we do have evidence of other things to reduce access, reducing closing times for example.”
Dr Reynolds has urged the community to think about what is shaping this dangerous drinking behaviour.
Sadly the doctor is not alone in his concern as doctors around the country have warned that beds are being taken up by alcohol patients which is disrupting the treatment of other patients with “real” medical issues.
In Victoria around 30,000 people are hospitalised a year due to alcohol and related implications. According to data compiled by the organisation Turning Point, most of those hospitalised are due to excessive alcohol consumption. It seems as though the number of people being hospitalised each year because of alcohol is growing steadily.
This issue has reminded me about the importance of Responsible Service of Alcohol because so many of these alcohol fuelled incidents causing people to be admitted into hospital are due to people going out to entertainment districts and getting drunk. As RSA staff we should never be turning a blind eye to the implications of our actions.
Not only is getting unduly intoxicated a risk to the public but the intoxicated person themselves are more at risk of becoming the victim of a violent attack, as statistics have proven.
Licensees are the ones most responsible for the behaviour that happens in their venues and their first priority is to ensure that everyone employed to work in the venue, regardless of position are in possession of an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate. Management, security staff, waitrons, bartenders and anyone working at the venue must complete RSA training and keep their proof of doing so on the premises.
But completing the course is only one part of it, management and staff of licensed venues must ensure that they are enforcing the principles taught by the RSA training, particularly those pertaining to underage drinkers and unduly intoxicated patrons.