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Australia has some of the highest rates of drinking during pregnancy.

July 16, 2020 3.43pm AEST, Natasha Reid

Alcohol plays a key role in our social activities and celebrations. We also commonly drink alcohol to relax or cope with stress.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) found 20% of households reported buying more alcohol than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. In these households, 70% of people reported drinking more than usual since COVID-19 began, and 32% were concerned about the amount of alcohol they or a loved one was drinking.

More broadly, new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics show the number of people drinking at risky levels has remained stable since 2016, but is substantial.

In 2019, 3.5 million people (16.8%) consumed more than two drinks per day on average, and about 5.2 million people (one in four Australians) consumed more than four drinks in one occasion (defined as binge drinking) at least monthly.

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