Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Hon Andrea Mitchell BPE DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Mental Health; Child Protection

    Tool tallies the benefits of drinking less alcohol

    5/01/2017 9:30 AM
    • New $300,000 media campaign to reduce harmful alcohol consumption
    • Go online to find out the financial and health benefits of reducing your drinking 

    The Liberal National Government today launched a new online tool to promote the health and financial benefits of reducing alcohol intake.


    The tool was launched in conjunction with a health promotion campaign to help people reduce harmful alcohol consumption and their risk of alcohol-caused disease.


    Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell said the campaign featured striking television advertisements using a glass body to show the effects of alcohol, while the online tool gave people the opportunity to calculate the benefits they would accrue by reducing their alcohol intake.


    National alcohol guidelines recommend no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce the risk of alcohol-caused disease, but one in five West Australians drink at higher levels according to the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey.


    "There is compelling evidence that regularly drinking more than the recommended national guidelines increases your risk of stroke, heart attack and cancer," Ms Mitchell said.


    "This campaign is about reminding people that if they choose to regularly consume more than the recommended two standard drinks on any day, there are serious risks to their health."


    The online tool allows people who may be concerned about their alcohol consumption to privately assess the effects of their current drinking habits, and then calculate the financial and health benefits of reducing their drinking to match the national guideline.


    For example, a woman who drinks three standard drinks every day would learn she has three times the risk of alcohol-related death compared to if she drank at the national guideline.


    By reducing her drinking to three times a week, the tool tells her she will decrease her health risks and in 12 months she will save about $900 and reduce her kilojoule intake by 18,000kj.


    The television ads were developed with the assistance of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital gastroenterologist Dr Hooi Ee and The University of Western Australia Neurology Professor Dr Graeme Hankey who have both seen the damaging effects that alcohol has on their patients.


    The Mental Health Commission has also produced a resource kit to help service providers in regional areas extend the campaign locally to reduce alcohol-related harm in the community.


    Fact File

    • For more information and to access the new online tool, visit http://www.alcoholthinkagain.com.au 
    • In 2014 an estimated one person every 27 minutes was hospitalised for an alcohol attributable condition and an estimated 113,549 hospital bed days were used in the same year from alcohol-related harms
    • The Alcohol and Drug Support line received 266 calls over the recent Christmas and New Year period from people concerned about harmful alcohol use 

    Minister's office - 6552 5400


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