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Curtin University
National Drug Research Institute

Preventing Harmful Drug Use In Australia

Media Release


Date: Thursday, 19 November 2009

Changing the drinking culture in Australia: Police enforcement should be one of many strategies

Reducing the availability of alcohol by having fewer licensed premises and shorter trading hours is essential to reducing alcohol-related violence, according to alcohol policy researchers at the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) in Perth.

"We support the strong message being sent by Police Commissioners today about preventing alcohol-related violence," said NDRI Alcohol Policy Team Leader Associate Professor Tanya Chikritzhs.

"The effects of risky drinking costs the whole community and what Commissioners have suggested today is supported by national and global evidence that shows implementing a range of strategies together is effective in reducing alcohol-related harm, including violence.

"Those strategies include controlling the availability of alcohol by addressing the number of outlets and hours of sale, using alcohol taxation and price mechanisms to reduce consumption, and backing that up with strong law enforcement."

Operation Unite, launched this morning by all Australian Police Commissioners, follows the release of research by NDRI in September showing that risky or high risk alcohol consumption caused the death of 32,696 Australians aged 15 and older in the 10 years from 1996 to 2005, and 813,072 Australians were hospitalised due to alcohol-caused injury and disease over the same period.

NDRI is based at Curtin University of Technology.

Further Information:

Associate Professor Tanya Chikritzhs
Associate Professor, National Drug Research Institute
Curtin University
Phone: 61 (0)8 9266 1609

Vic Rechichi
Communications Officer, National Drug Research Institute
Curtin University
Phone: 61 (0)8 9266 1627
Mobile: 0414 682 055

Rachael Lobo
Communications Officer, National Drug Research Institute
Curtin University
Phone: 61 (0)8 9266 1627
Mobile: 0400 218831