Quantity

How much alcohol do Australians usually drink?

Among Australians who drink alcohol, most (53%) usually have 2 or less standard drinks on a day they consume alcohol.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2021).

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

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

Do men or women in Australia drink more alcohol?

Australian men usually drink more than women on a day they have alcohol. Women are more likely than men to drink two or less standard drinks per occasion (63% vs 43%).

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2021).

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding. 

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

Do younger or older Australians drink more alcohol?

Among Australians who drink alcohol, the usual quantity consumed per day differs by age. Australians aged 18-24 years generally consume more standard drinks on a day they drink than any other age group. Those aged 70+ years are most likely to have 2 or less standard drinks per occasion.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2021).

*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. 

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

Do levels of alcohol in wastewater in Australia vary by geographic location?

The amount of alcohol found in Australian wastewater varies across jurisdictions.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission reported that the Northern Territory had the highest levels of alcohol. In general, average regional use of alcohol was higher than in capital cities.

Source: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (2021). National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program: Report 12. Canberra: ACIC.

This FAQ uses data from the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program. Further information on the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program is available here.