Drug and Alcohol Review - 2023 - Torney (2).pdf (1.07 MB)
Shifts in the Australian public's opinions towards alcohol policies: 2004–2019
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-23, 05:09 authored by Alexandra TorneyAlexandra Torney, Robin RoomRobin Room, Heng JiangHeng Jiang, Michael LivingstonMichael Livingston, Sarah CallinanSarah Callinan
Introduction: After a period of stagnation, alcohol policy in Australia has received increased attention in the past decade, with Sydney's lockout laws and Queensland's restrictions on trading hours garnering media attention. This study will investigate any changing trends in support towards alcohol policy and identify any demographic-specific shifts. Methods: Respondents from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (conducted every 3 years from 2004 to 2019) were asked to gauge their level of support for 16 alcohol policy items proposed to reduce the problems associated with excessive alcohol use. Mean levels of support for various policy options, as well as demographic predictors of support, were assessed. Results: After an increase from 2004 to 2013, support for more evidence-based policies on alcohol (e.g., restricting the availability of alcohol) has decreased since 2013. Support for policy items that focus less on the restriction of the availability of alcohol and more on education remained relatively stable in comparison. While demographic groups continue to vary in their extent of support, shifts appear to be occurring fairly uniformly across sex, age, states and drinking groups. Discussion and Conclusions: Support for public health-oriented alcohol policies has been decreasing since 2013. The introduction of high-profile policies and less of a media focus on alcohol may be contributing to decreases in support.