In the early days of the alcohol crisis, Australian men were increasingly drinking and partying in a manner that often involved using drugs, alcohol and drugs and alcohol.
In 2010, the Federal Government introduced new legislation that included strict penalties for anyone found using drugs or alcohol while on a holiday or on a business trip.
While alcohol use on holiday and business trips remains illegal, the Government has also been cracking down on people who use drugs and drugs paraphernalia, including sleeping bags, sleeping bags for babies and alcohol-free hot showers.
According to research from the Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia (ADA), there has been a 20 per cent increase in the use of cannabis and a 50 per cent decrease in the number of people using heroin over the last five years.
The Government has made an effort to make the law more accessible to those in need.
In October, the Minister for Health, Scott Morrison, announced the first national crackdown on drug use on a public holiday.
He said the Government wanted to make it easier for people to report people using drugs and make the laws more transparent.
Since the crackdown, the use and supply of alcohol on public holiday has increased, and there has also recently been a marked increase in use of other drugs, including methamphetamine and ecstasy.
But while there has definitely been an increase in public use of alcohol in recent years, it is the number and quantity of people who have gone out to drink and use drugs that has been the biggest change, with a staggering 21 per cent of people now using alcohol on holiday.
“The real danger is not the people who are using alcohol, it’s the people in the hotels, restaurants and bars that are drinking and using drugs,” said Dr Mark Ruggiero, chief executive of the Alcohol Association of Australia.
Dr Ruggierso also believes the Government’s policy of mandatory minimum sentences for those caught using drugs on holiday is a missed opportunity.
For the first time in the history of the law, the maximum penalty for using drugs while travelling on public holidays will now be five years imprisonment.
Despite the Government taking steps to reduce alcohol consumption on public occasions, there are still many people who drink and take drugs in public on holiday, he said.