Alcohol intake triples over Christmas

Australians' weekly average alcohol intake triples during the festive season, new research shows.

December and January are the periods of greatest alcohol consumption, more so than birthdays, work drinks and traditional weekend socialising, a survey conducted by Australian charity FebFast has found.

The organisation, which works to highlight the dangers of drugs and alcohol, has launched a campaign encouraging people to have an alcohol-free February.

The survey quizzed 1,006 Australians from all states and territories on their drinking habits.

A quarter of respondents admitted to spending between $200 and $1,000 on alcohol during December and January, with seven per cent saying they turned to alcohol in the festive season to help cope with their family.

"There's nothing wrong with enjoying the summer and the season's festivities, but we need to be aware of how much some Australians get carried away and take celebrations to excess." FebFast chief executive Fiona Healy said.

The survey found most respondents drink one day a week and that during the festive period that increases to three days a week.

One-third of Australians consume more than 10 standard drinks a week during the festive season, the survey found.

Almost half (49 per cent) of people aged 20 to 29 admitted binge drinking during the festive season, with men more likely to drink too much than women, the survey shows.

Typically, one-third of respondents in each state and territory believed they drank too much during December and January. However, in the Northern Territory, no respondents believed they drank too much alcohol.

"Only one in five Australians have actually tried to give up or reduce the booze as a new year's resolution and of those who tried, 40 per cent failed in less than a month," Ms Healy said.

FebFast encourages Australians to give up drinking for February and collect sponsorship for their efforts.

Source AAP

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