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It is widely known that we, as Australians love a drink – or two. Australian culture, as we know it, revolves around the consumption of alcohol and is widely accepted as a necessary addition to social gatherings (Wyn 2009, 6). We are conditioned from small ages to accept the Australian drinking culture as a way of life and accept alcohol, and the consumption of alcohol as a positive thing (Eckersley, Wierenga & Wyn 2005, 402). However, alcohol consumption is one of the biggest challenges to wellbeing in the 21st century, particularly for Australian society. Through implications that is presents on health, society and culture in relation to our physical, community and emotional wellbeing alcohol is considered to be extremely prevalent within Australia. It is alarming to note that 50% of young people were experiencing problems related to alcohol (Eckersley, Wierenga & Wyn 2005, 402). Alcohol presents one of the biggest challenges to Australian wellbeing as it can be a means of social cohesion or division. However, it is arguable whether alcohol is a negative or positive contribution to Australian society, regardless of the challenges it presents to Australian wellbeing (Wyn 2009, 6). In regards to physical, emotional and community wellbeing, there are many factors as to how alcohol affects them negatively, and the negative effects are widely portrayed within the media. It is critical that the positive effects of alcohol on wellbeing are also considered when determining how exactly it affects wellbeing.

The health implications that alcohol can have on the body are extremely detrimental and these implications are widely portrayed in the media. Implications that can occur affect the brain, liver, digestive and reproductive system; w...

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...en argued extensively ( Geldens 2007; Ecksersley, Wierenga & Wyn 2005; Phillips – Howard et al. 2010; Quigley 2006). However, as was suggested in Wyn’s article (2009, 8); we must consider the contradictions that occur on wellbeing through alcohol use in order to truly assess whether alcohol is completely detrimental to our wellbeing. It is difficult to determine whether alcohol is truly detrimental towards society as the positive effects it has on society far outweigh the negative. It is certain, that alcohol is one of the biggest challenges to wellbeing in the 21st century; whether those challenges are of a positive or negative context is unknown. However, one thing is certain, regardless of the implications and challenges that alcohol consumption presents to physical, community and emotional wellbeing; the Australian population will never stop enjoying a drink.

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