Responsibility a sure bet on Melbourne Cup Day

Posted on: Thursday, 27 October 2011

In the lead-up to Melbourne Cup Day, Eastern Health’s Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre is reminding punters to be responsible with their alcohol consumption and gambling.

Turning Point Director Professor Dan Lubman said drinking excessively could influence decision-making and increase risk-taking behaviour, which might lead to physical harm.

He said Turning Point data had shown there were 6204 alcohol-related ambulance attendances in the Melbourne metropolitan area in 2009-10, more than any other drug.

"Whether you are heading out to Flemington for the big race or having a barbecue at home, Melbourne Cup Day can be a great opportunity to catch up with family and friends,” Prof Lubman said. “However, it’s important people take notice of the safety message."

Prof Lubman said over-indulging alcohol could lead to injury as a result of fights, accidents or road trauma. He said young women were also more likely to be sexually assaulted when under the influence of alcohol.

"It’s not about stopping people from having fun,” Prof Lubman said. “It’s about ensuring you look after your mates – and yourself."

Prof Lubman said the responsibility message extended to gambling, saying punters should set themselves a limit and not exceed it.

Head of Clinical Services Dr Matthew Frei said Turning Point offered a range of support services for people concerned about their alcohol consumption, or that of someone else, as well as problem gambling.

"Our phone and internet services operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Dr Frei said.

"We have trained counsellors ready to offer support and provide a listening ear to those looking for assistance."

Support for people who have a problem with alcohol and/or drug use is available through DirectLine on 1800 888 236 or www.counsellingonline.org.au. Support for people with gambling issues is available on 1800 858 858 or www.gamblinghelponline.org.au

For media inquiries, please contact Winston Tan from Eastern Health Communications on 0407 785 706.

ENDS

About Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre

Turning Point (established 1995 and based in Fitzroy) provides leadership to the Victorian alcohol and drug sector. It promotes the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities living with, and affected by, alcohol, other drug-related harms and gambling.

About Eastern Health

Eastern Health is one of Victoria’s largest public health services. It provides a range of acute, sub-acute, mental health and community health services from 29 locations. Its larger facilities include: Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully, Box Hill Hospital in Box Hill, Healesville & District Hospital in Healesville, Maroondah Hospital in Ringwood East, Peter James Centre in Burwood East, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre in Fitzroy, Wantirna Health in Wantirna, Yarra Valley Community Health in Healesville and Yarra Ranges Health in Lilydale