4 Jul

Breaking the cycle: alcohol awareness and intervention

Other than tobacco and other drugs, alcohol is the major cause of preventable illness, diseases and death in Australia. A 2018 study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare stated that “alcohol was the fifth highest risk factor contributing to the burden of disease in Australia.” 

This week is Alcohol Awareness Week. Coincidentally, it aligns with the Dry July campaign, supporting those affected by cancer. Alcohol Awareness Week recognises the impact that alcohol consumption can have on individuals and their communities. 

The nature of drinking in Australia 

Australians are renowned for their drinking culture. Numerous studies have aimed to identify how consumption affects the health, social and behavioural outcomes of Australians. Listed below are some recent key findings: 

  • 1,559 alcohol-induced deaths were reported in 2021 
  • Alcohol was the most common drug that clients sought treatment services for in 2021-22 
  • 3-in-5 drug-related hospitalisations in 2020-21 were attributed to alcohol use 
  • 1-in-4 Australian adults exceeded the alcohol guideline in 2020-21 

Source: AIHW, 2023 

Adverse health outcomes associated with excessive alcohol consumption 

Alcohol consumption, particularly in excess quantities, can lead to significant health issues. Some of the short-term effects that it can cause includes injury, violence and accidental death. In addition, some of the long-term risks associated with ongoing use includes cancer, brain damage, memory loss, sexual dysfunction and cirrhosis of the liver.  

Anglicare Southern Queensland’s alcohol intervention services 

As a health and social community provider, we understand the importance of accessibility to intervention, prevention and counselling services to enhance the wellbeing of individuals and communities. At Anglicare, we provide alcohol and other drug (AOD) programs to clients needing support. 

In our programs, clients learn techniques to cope with cravings and triggers. This can also help to prevent their risk of relapse. Additionally, our clients are given tools and strategies to minimise the risk of harm associated with AOD use. 

AMEND – Assisting Mothers to End the Need for Drugs 

AMEND is a voluntary, home-based relapse prevention and parenting enhancement program. It’s comprised of 18 counselling sessions for pregnant and parenting women. In this program we support women experiencing AOD related problems and co-existing mental health concerns. 

Counselling is available (free of charge) to women and their families, residing from Burpengary to Waterford and from Wynnum West to Ferny Grove. Support is also available from Runaway Bay to Coolangatta.  

Click here to learn more about our AMEND program. 

Youth in Charge 

Youth in Charge is a program for young people requiring support to manage their use of alcohol and other drugs. This voluntary program is available to those aged 12-25 in the West Moreton and South West Queensland regions. In this program, counsellors work with young people to reduce harm associated with AOD use, set goals to improve their general health and wellbeing and support the changes they are wanting to make in their lives.  

Click here to learn more about our Youth in Charge program. 

Drug Diversion Program 

Anglicare Southern Queensland offers a Drug Diversion Program for clients who have been diverted to us by the courts or police for minor drug-related offences. In this program, clients participate in a 2-hour assessment and education session. They’re given information to make informed decisions about illicit drug use and other ways they can be supported in our other referral services.  

You can learn more about it here. 

How our programs benefit clients 

Our AOD programs provide numerous benefits to clients. Not only do they reduce the risk of adverse health effects associated with alcohol, but they support improved mental wellbeing and life outcomes. 

Some of the clients who’ve completed our programs have been successful in working towards managing, reducing and abstaining from substance use. Some have reported a sense of stability in their day-to-day lives and are now actively engaging in employment or educational opportunities. Clients have also reported improvements in personal relationships and feeling more connected to their communities. 

Community benefits of alcohol intervention services 

Our alcohol support programs have significant community benefits. By working with people experiencing concerns with alcohol (and/or other drugs) use, we can help to reduce associated risks within the community. Clients who are actively engaged in counselling and support may be less likely to frequently present at hospitals and emergency departments. This alleviates economic and serviceability pressures on healthcare and justice systems. 

Watch the video to learn more about alcohol awareness and intervention from our counsellors. 

What to do if you or someone else needs help 

If you think that you need help to manage your substance use, you can contact the Anglicare Southern Queensland intake line for an assessment on 1300 114 397. 

Alternatively, learn more about our programs via the links below.  

Amend for pregnant or parenting mothers 

Youth in Charge for people aged 12-25