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.

73% of Australians aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; 15% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion);4% drink at levels that increase short-term 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 2%* do so on a weekly basis. 19% of Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 25% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 14% drink at levels that increase short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 23% do so on a monthly basis; and 19% do so on a weekly basis. 20% of Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 28% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 17% drink at levels that increase short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 20% do so on a monthly basis; and 16% do so on a weekly basis. 17% of Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 34% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 17% drink at levels that increase short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 16% do so on a monthly basis; and 15% do so on a weekly basis. 16% of Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 40% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 14% drink at levels that increase short-term 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 17% do so on a weekly basis. 18% of Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 46% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 11% drink at levels that increase short-term 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 15% do so on a weekly basis. 22% of Australians aged 60-69 years abstain from alcohol; 54% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 7% drink at levels that increase short-term 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 12% do so on a weekly basis. 31% of Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 58% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 4% drink at levels that increase short-term 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 5% 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). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2018).

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

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.