The many Australians taking to the bottle is not funny. Infact their love for the spirits has created a bottle neck in the health system, overburdened by the fallout of the binge drinking culture on the people's health.
Binge drinking has become a trend evident among all age groups, class, boundaries and cultural lines. Experts have suggested that this trend spells doom for Australia in the next 20 years. Many Australians will be suffering chronic diseases like liver cirrhosis, cancers and brain disorders.
The region is also witnessing a surge in drinking among 18 year olds who also portray acute withdrawal symptoms. The government is facing flak at not being able to effectively control the crisis.
Professor Ian Webster, a drug and alcohol specialist and chairman of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation said, "We have got to change the way our culture dances with alcohol or future generations will suffer the consequences. At the moment it's a bit like David fighting Goliath. Government revenue is directly related to the economy of the alcohol industry, and it has powerful political connections with both sides of politics. That makes cultural change very difficult."
Elaborating on the harmful effects of alcohol on young brains, Professor John Toumbourou, of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, said, "As this generation moves through young adulthood into adulthood we'll see an increase in all categories of illness related to alcohol and it's an extensive list - liver failure, a variety of cancers, brain damage and higher deaths down the line. To me that's a ticking time bomb."