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Hidden Harms from Alcohol in WA: Revealed

The Cancer Council WA has released the WA Hidden Crisis: Harm from Alcohol report, in partnership with WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies, Alcohol and Drug Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute, highlighting the harm alcohol inflicts on the WA community.

“On behalf of and with support from other health and community organisations, Cancer Council WA, the WA Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies, Alcohol and Drug Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute are working to raise awareness of the extent of harm from alcohol in Western Australia”.

We can no longer accept the escalating harms alcohol products are causing. As the report highlights, three Western Australians die each week from alcohol-caused cancers, in addition to over 1,000 hospitalisations a year.

Some harms are very visible, others are hidden (or take time to become visible). Visible harms include alcohol-fuelled violence, injuries, and road crashes. In fact, 42 people died on WA roads in 2020 where the driver was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, or the primary cause of the crash included alcohol.

Hidden harms include the contribution to family violence, cancers, FASD, and impacts on mental health.  Alcohol is a depressant drug that, over time, can contribute to the development of, or worsen, existing mental health challenges over time.

WA has one of the highest rates of emergency department presentations due to alcohol in the country, with 1 in 5 ED presentations on Saturday nights being due to alcohol consumption.

Beyond that, each week in WA, 8 deaths, 402 hospitalisations and, and 180 family violence assaults occur that are related to alcohol use.

Injury Matters is proud to have co-signed this important report alongside organisations including:

It’s not only people who drink alcohol who are impacted by alcohol harms. Harm from alcohol is preventable. There is clear evidence and research available to show effective methods of harm prevention. It is time to act for our loved ones, children, family, friends, and communities at large.