Alcohol consumption and harm in two West Australian regional centres

Richard Midford, R James, Wendy Oddy, Elena Dyskin, Andrea Beel

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The application of national or state alcohol harm-prevention programs at a regional level can be inappropriate. The involvement of local communities is critical if harm-prevention responses are to be sensitive to local needs. Unfortunately, individuals and agencies usually have little idea of the impact of alcohol at the local level. Alcohol consumption and harm data have been gathered for Geraldton and Bunbury, two regional centres of comparable size in Western Australia. The indices of harm presented include the nature and cost of hospital morbidity attributable to alcohol, and drink-driving charges. In Geraldton, the impact of alcohol tends to be acute and affects young adults, particularly young males. In Bunbury, the consequences of alcohol use tend to be more chronic in nature and affect older adults. These findings have been used to inform local harm-prevention responses, but more than that, this study is a practical example of how available data can be aggregated at a community level to illustrate local alcohol use and harm. This method can be replicated in any community that wants to understand better the effects of alcohol in its own local context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes


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