BINGE drinking at private parties in Orange and its impact on the community is overtaking alcohol-related incidents in the central business district, according to a paramedic and licensee.
A long-serving Orange paramedic has told the Central Western Daily young people are “drinking themselves legless” at parties across the city with the real impact of their binge drinking hidden from public view.
“People at a party call an ambulance because they want to wash their hands of it when someone has become intoxicated and they have concerns for them,” the paramedic said.
“Sometimes I take young people home and knock on their front door because they don’t need to be taken to hospital to take up valuable time.
“I tell their parents I have their son or daughter in the ambulance and they are generally very embarrassed.”
Increasingly, paramedics say they are called to treat young women who have had too much to drink. Spirits are usually the drink of choice and they have a powerful effect.
“It’s usually rum and coke,” the paramedic said.
Head of Orange’s Liquor Accord comprising local licensees, Bill Kelly, said he had reviewed the 2012 figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and noted there had been a drop in assaults inside licensed premises.
“But the number of assaults and incidents reported to police at private parties and in domestic situations is on the increase,” Mr Kelly said.
The Orange paramedic said in his experience violence associated with young men being intoxicated was on the increase, however he discounted drug use as a mitigating factor in that violence.
“There has been a lot in the media about it but in my experience that is very rare,” he said.
“But the violence we see is a concern - there’s no such thing as a happy drunk anymore.”
Mr Kelly said a lack of respect and acceptance of violence in our society was a contributing factor to violence associated with excess alcohol consumption.
“I think Gen Y as they like to call themselves just have no respect for anyone and that’s more obvious in a situation where they’ve had too much to drink,” he said.
“Our society has become too violent.”