Are younger or older Australians more likely to drink at levels that increase their long-term risk of alcohol-related disease or injury?

Australians who are very young (14-17 years) or very old (70+ years) are the least likely to drink at levels that increase their long-term risk of alcohol-related disease or injury

59% of those aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; 37% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 3%* drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 0.6%** drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 17% of Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 62% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 12% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 9% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 17% of Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 62% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 12% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 8% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 18% of Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 63% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 11% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 7% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 16% of Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 62% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 13% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 9% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 17% of Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 63% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 12% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 8% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 21% abstain of Australians aged 60-69 years from alcohol; 61% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 12% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 7% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). 32% of Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 58% drink at low risk levels (2 or less drinks per day); 7% drink at risky levels (3-4 drinks per day) and 3% drink at high risk levels (5 or more drinks per day). * Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution. ** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

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.

** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding. All measures of alcohol drinks refer to standard drinks.

Long-Term Risk of Alcohol-Related Disease or Injury: Current Australian alcohol guidelines state that long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury increases when you consume an average of three or more standard drinks per day.

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