Does the proportion of Australians that has met the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol disorder in the past 12 months differ by gender?

Australian men are more likely than women to have met the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol disorder during the past 12 months.

64% of Australians who have met the diagnostic criteria for harmful alcohol use during the last 12 months are male and 36% are female. 76% of Australians who have met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence during the last 12 months are male and 24% are female.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008). 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of results.

Dependence: A maladaptive pattern of use in which the use of drugs or alcohol takes on a much higher priority for a person than other behaviours that once had greater value. The central characteristic is the strong, sometimes overpowering, desire to take the substance despite significant substance-related problems.

Harmful Use: A pattern of use of alcohol or drugs that is responsible for (or substantially contributes to) physical or psychological harm, including impaired judgement or dysfunctional behaviour.