Are Australian males or females aged 12-17 years more likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury?

Australian males aged 12-17 years are more likely than females to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury on a monthly basis. Males and females are equally likely to drink at these levels on a yearly basis. 

71% of male and 73% of female Australians aged 12-17 years abstain from alcohol, 13% of males and 15% of females drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single occasion), 5% of males and 5% of females drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury (5 or more drinks) on a yearly basis, 7% of males and 5% of females do so on a monthly basis, and 4%* of males and 2%* of females do so on a weekly basis. * Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

Please note: All measures of alcohol drinks refer to standard drinks.

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 male or female school students 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.

Standard Drink: A drink that contains 10 grams (or 12.5 millilitres) of alcohol.