Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that between 2016–17, alcohol consumption in Australia has declined to 9.4 litres per capita – a 50-year low. On top of this, according to recent data, 23 per cent of Australians don’t drink alcohol at all.
This trend towards drinking less – or abstaining entirely – is reflected in the rise of ‘sober’ events. Whether participating in Dry January, febfast, Dry July or Ocsober – Australians have never had a better chance to trial a break from alcohol.
Our relationship with drinking is changing at a rapid pace. Whether this is due to rising awareness of alcohol’s health impacts, developing societal shifts, or increased mindfulness towards what we consume, it’s a trend that has the potential to restructure the way we interact within our communities and family circles.
With these changing dynamics in mind, we asked three Australians who have routinely given up alcohol for a month to tell us why they chose to abstain, and what they’ve learnt by doing so.