3.3 million deaths worldwide a year

ALCOHOL kills one person every 10 seconds.

World Health Organisation figures show alcohol kills 3.3 million people worldwide each year, more than AIDS, tuberculosis and violence combined,  with the UN health agency warning booze consumption is on the rise.

Including drink driving, alcohol-induced violence and abuse, and a multitude of diseases and disorders, alcohol causes one in 20 deaths globally every year.

Bendigo Community Health Services alcohol and other drugs manager Lisa Walklate said there was no doubt alcohol was still a major cause of concern.

Alcohol is one of the biggest killers

"It's not as sensationalised as other drugs but it's certainly our main drug of concern," she said.

"Within our own organisation, alcohol is still the most prominent drug people seek help for.

"It has social impacts as well as health impacts.

"It can affect work attendance, driving with drink driving charges, it can cause health concerns.

"It can impact on relationships.

"In the family situation it can even affect elders like parents and grandparents.

"That would be the hidden aspect."

HELP ON HAND: Bendigo Community Health Services' Lisa Walklate.

HELP ON HAND: Bendigo Community Health Services' Lisa Walklate.

"For example, if mum is no longer able to get kids to school because of drink driving, or they're hung over in the morning, it might fall on grandma to get them off to school."

More people in countries where alcohol consumption has traditionally been low, like China and India, are also increasingly taking up the habit as their wealth increases, says the World Health Organisation.

Drinking is linked to more than 200 health conditions, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers.

Bendigo Community Health Services offers alcohol and other drugs services and can be contacted by calling 5448 1600.

- with The Age

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