More than a quarter of family violence incidents involve alcohol, data shows

Alcohol is involved in at least one in four domestic violence incidents that end up at hospital emergency in Warrnambool, but experts say the overall figure could be much higher.

Data collected by emergency staff and Deakin researchers as part of the Last Drinks study highlight the insidious role of alcohol products on family and intimate partner violence.

But Director at Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre Geoff Soma said the emergency department results could underestimate the true impact, with alcohol consistently implicated in more than 50 per cent of presentations seen at WRAD.

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One in 10 sports club incidents involve booze, Last Drinks data reveals

On-field clashes are not the only sources of sporting injury, with new figures revealing one in 10 sports club incidents that end in an emergency visit involve alcohol products.

Aussie Rules clubs topped the list, comprising 45 per cent of all alcohol-related injuries at a sports club, followed by netball, cricket and lawn bowls, according to Last Drinks data collected at Warrnambool Base Hospital. Researchers also noted incidents stemming from local baseball, soccer and volleyball clubs.

The figures, collected by Deakin University researchers and emergency department staff to shed light on the community harm caused by alcohol products, show 84 per cent of those injured at a sports club while drinking are male with an average age of 36 years.

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Media Release - Alcohol and vehicles make a killer cocktail on and off our roads, police caution

Alcohol and high speeds are not the only killer cocktail on the region’s roads, with new figures from Warrnambool’s Last Drinks project showing death and injury are just as likely in low speed incidents when alcohol products are in the mix.

The data, collected from emergency department visits at Warrnambool Base Hospital, also reveal many motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol happen on farms and other private properties.

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Media Release - Assault and injury up seven-fold in ‘high-alcohol hours’, Last Drinks data shows

A recent Australian snapshot study published in the journals Addiction estimated 14-22 per cent of all injuries treated at emergency departments were because of another person being affected by alcohol products.

At Warrnambool Base Hospital, emergency visits due to assaults or intentional injury are seven times higher on Friday and Saturday nights compared with the rest of the week. According to Deakin University’s Last Drinks study, this coincides with the so-called ‘high-alcohol hours’ when hospital visits spike because of alcohol consumption.

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Media Release - Booze-fuelled holiday creates spike in alcohol-caused hospital visits

As Australians ease into their long weekend, emergency staff at Warrnambool Base Hospital can expect more than two-and-a-half times as many alcohol-related visitors.

Deakin University data reveals that while January is 25 per cent busier than other months, Australia Day alone sees alcohol-related hospital visits jump 158 per cent in Warrnambool.

Warrnambool’s hospital and ambulance workers said that while no patient was ever turned away, alcohol- related issues added an avoidable burden on emergency staff and first responders.

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Media Release - Holidaymakers + alcohol = emergency department spike for Warrnambool

As the summer break kicks in and visitor numbers at Warrnambool’s camping grounds and beaches swell, so too do the number of people arriving at the hospital’s emergency department with alcohol-related injuries.

A study of alcohol-related attendances at Warrnambool Base Hospital emergency reveals a fourfold increase in visitors from camping grounds, caravan parks and beaches during December and January.

This is just as many as those coming in after drinking at Warrnambool’s busiest hotels and bars.

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