Are younger or older Australian school students aged 12-17 years more likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury?

Among Australian school students aged 12-17 years who drank alcohol in the past week, older students were more likely than younger students to drink at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury.

1% of Australian school students aged 12 years, who drank alcohol in the past week, drank at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks), and 4% drank at low risk levels (4 or less drinks). 1% of Australian school students aged 13 years, who drank alcohol in the past week, drank at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks) and 7% drank at low risk levels (4 or less drinks). 3% of Australian school students aged 14 years, who drank alcohol in the past week, drank at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks) and 9% drank at low risk levels (4 or less drinks). 6% of Australian school students aged 15 years, who drank alcohol in the past week, drank at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks) and 14% drank at low risk levels (4 or less drinks). 13% of Australian school students aged 16 years, who drank alcohol in the past week, drank at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks) and 16% drank at low risk levels (4 or less drinks). 19% of Australian school students aged 17 years, who drank alcohol in the past week, drank at levels that increased their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks) and 18% drank at low risk levels (4 or less drinks).

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who drink at risky levels differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who drink at risky levels (see FAQ Are younger or older Australians aged 12-17 years more likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) presents data on short-term risky drinking during the past week. By contrast, the general population survey (NDSHS) presents data on short-term risky drinking on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

Short-Term Risk of Alcohol-Related Injury: Current Australian alcohol guidelines state that drinking five or more standard drinks on any single occasion significantly increases short-term risk of alcohol-related injury.