The Purpose of the book is to help more people understand the nature of alcoholism and just what it means in our lives when:
Alcohol has been a major factor causing the deaths of 30,000 Australians in the last 10 years. Over one-quarter of a million Australians can be classified as alcoholics. One million two hundred thousand Australians are affected personally or in their family situations by the use of alcohol. One in five of hospital beds is occupied by a person suffering from the adverse effects of alcohol. Two in every five of divorces or judicial separations result from alcohol induced problems. In 1972-3 problems directly related to alcohol, including industrial accidents and absenteeism, cost the national economy more than $500m. Alcohol is associated with half the serious crime in Australia. Alcoholism among the young is increasing dramatically, as many as 10 per cent of school children between the ages of 12 and 17 get ’very drunk’ at least once a month.
'”Alcohol is the major drug of abuse in Australia. It now constitutes a problem of epidemic proportions"… "Any failure by governments or individuals to acknowledge that a major problem — and potential national disaster — is upon us would constitute gross irresponsibility." (All the above facts are extracted and directly quoted from the Report from the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare issued in 1977.)
What do these facts mean in the lives of thousands of Australians? What is happening in families, which constitutes an “epidemic” and a “potential national disaster"? Many of us never give it a thought, many people refuse to consider it, others spend their lives trying to cope with it — the national disaster, taking place behind the bedroom door.