With pubs shut across the country, the rise of alcohol related hospitalisations is continuing to rise amid the current COVID-19 crises.
With pubs shut across the country, the rise of alcohol related hospitalisations is continuing to rise amid the current COVID-19 crises.

Bottle-o booze sales on the rise in South Burnett

THE Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation has expressed their concerns after the latest Commonwealth Bank figures have shown a significant increase in alcohol sales.

CommSec data released on Tuesday 31 March, shows alcohol sales rose again over the past week, with a 34 per cent increase compared to the same period a year ago.

While spending on alcohol services, such as pubs fell by 49 per cent, spending on alcoholic products at outlets such as bottle shops, skyrocketed by 86 per cent compared to the same week as last year.

The Commercial Hotel Kingaroy manager Steve Colley said with all the pubs shut, this would cause people to drink at home.

"With people not able to go out, obviously the amount of people buying from bottle shops and drinking from home will increase," Mr Colley said.

"With the Commercial shut, the overall sale of alcohol has fallen, however the bottle shop is still doing okay.

"If further restrictions are put in place, I would only hope the drive-through bottle shops will remain open."

An employee from the Carrollee Hotel in Kingaroy said they had experienced a rise in sales over the past couple of weeks.

"We have had a general increase in sales over the last week, however by no means is anyone panic-buying alcohol," she said.

"This increase in sales has been across the board."

Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation chief executive Dr Erin Lalor, urged Australians to prioritise their health and wellbeing during this difficult time, including taking steps to reduce the risk of alcohol related harms such as dependence, accidents and injuries.

"We are worried that as alcohol sales continue to rise, so will excessive drinking and related harms such as violence, accidents, injuries and dependence," Dr Lalor said.

"It's particularly important at the moment that people maintain their physical and mental health.

"People need to understand that there are no health benefits of alcohol, in fact, consuming alcohol can weaken your immune system, disrupt your sleep and make feelings of stress and anxiety worse."

Dr Lalor said that she was also worried that The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has reported a 'concerning' number of alcohol related hospitalisations during the coronavirus pandemic.

"A reduction in alcohol-related accidents and injuries is a key step in taking pressure off hospital resources needed for coronavirus presentations," Dr Lalor said.

For free and confidential drug information or support, we encourage people to visit www.adf.org.au or call the Alcohol and Drug Foundation's Drug info line on 1300 85 85 84.

South Burnett

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