Biloela big boozers

257,712 BOTTLES of beer on the wall - then Biloela started drinking.

That is how much alcohol everyone aged over 15 in Biloela is expected to throw down their throats during October alone.

The startling figure shows the need for “Ocsober”, which has participants go sober for the month to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and raise funds for health education for children.

Biloela Ocsober participant Marcus Cowen, also bar manager at the Anzac Club, said he was not too surprised.

“Biloela does its fair share of drinking,” Marcus said.

The figures come from Life Education, a charity that conducts drug education programs across the country and runs Ocsober.

Michael Fawsitt, chief executive officer of Life Education Queensland, said it came from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, which showed the average Australian consumed 9.95 litres of pure alcohol per year, as well as population data from the 2006 census.

“That equates roughly to either nine bottles of wine, 10 bottles of champagne or 48 stubbies of full strength beer during October alone (830ml of pure alcohol in a month),” Mr Fawsitt said.

The equivalent for the 5369 Biloela residents is 257,712 beers or 48,321 bottles of wine or 53,690 bottles of champagne.

For Moura, the figures are 85,200 beer stubbies, 15,975 wine bottles or 17,750 champagne bottles.

For Theodore it is 21, 312 beer stubbies, 3996 wine bottles, 4440 champagne bottles.

He said these were estimates as the ABS could not provide specific consumption data for the area.

Kate Staff, manager at Biloela Anglicare, said Anglicare was organising its drug arm to facilitate a train-the-trainer workshop in Biloela on November 12, as there were no local services in the Callide and Dawson areas providing alcohol and drug specific counselling services, only the by-products of substance use i.e. domestic violence, financial issues, relationship issues, parenting concerns.

Queensland Health's Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Services (ATODS) have an outreach service that operates from Biloela Hospital by appointment.

Life Education's CQ educator Anna Lucock said they would be visiting Biloela from November 30 to December 3 at Redeemer Lutheran Primary School.

The stats • Every 24 minutes an Australian dies through either legal or illegal drugs. • Over 22,000 deaths every year. • By age 15, almost one third of teenagers are binge drinking. • Teenagers who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to become dependent on it than those who don't start until age 21. • Road accidents caused by alcohol costs Australia $3.1 billion a year. • Alcohol abuse causes $3.5 billion worth of lost productivity per year.

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