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

Australians aged 18-24 years are the age group most likely to drink at levels which increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury on a weekly or monthly basis. Australians aged 25-29 and 30-39 years are most likely to drink at these levels on a yearly basis.

61% of Australians aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; 20% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 7% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 8% do so on a monthly basis; and 4% do so on a weekly basis. 17% of Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 21% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 14% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 25% do so on a monthly basis; and 22% do so on a weekly basis. 17% of Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 29% drink 4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion; 17% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury weekly 5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 18% do so on a monthly basis; and 19% do so on a weekly basis. 18% of Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 35% drink 4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion; 16% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury) 5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 15% do so on a monthly basis; and 16% do so on a weekly basis. 16% of Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 40% drink 4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion; 14% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 13% do so on a monthly basis; and 18% do so on a weekly basis. 17% of Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 49% drink 4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion; 10% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 10% do so on a monthly basis; and 14% do so on a weekly basis. 21% of Australians aged 60-69 years abstain from alcohol; 56% drink 4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion; 6% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 6% do so on a monthly basis; and 10% do so on a weekly basis. 33% of Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 58% drink 4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion; 3% drink at levels that increase short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 2% do so on a monthly basis; and 4% do so on a weekly basis.

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

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

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.