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what are the statistics of alcohol in young people over the past few years?


Alcohol statistics in Australia

  • Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia. 8 out of 10 Australians aged 14 years and over have drunk alcohol one or more times in their lives1.
  • 37.3% of Australians aged 14 years and over consume alcohol on a weekly basis1.
  • The age group with the greatest number of Australians who drink daily is 70+ years1.
  • Around 1 in 5 (18.2%) Australians over 14 drink at levels that put them at risk of alcohol-related harm over their lifetime1.
  • Around 1 in 6 (15.6%) people aged 12 years or older had consumed 11 or more standard drinks on a single drinking occasion in the past 12 months1.
  • 1 in 5 women drink alcohol while pregnant, even though the Australian alcohol guidelines recommend not drinking during this time2.
  • $7b is generated by alcohol-related tax. But alcohol costs society $15.3b annually3.
  • Alcohol caused more than four times more deaths (5554) than road accidents (1367) in 20104,5.
  • 1 in 10 workers say they have experienced the negative effects of a co-worker’s use of alcohol5,6.
  • Young Australians (aged 14–24) have their first full serve of alcohol at 15.7 years on average1.
  • 72.3% of 12–17 year olds have not consumed alcohol in the last 12 months1.
  • 17% of 15–18 years old say they had sex when drunk which they later regretted7.
  • Alcohol contributes to the 3 major causes of teen death: injury, homicide and suicide8.
  • Friends or acquaintances are the most likely sources of alcohol for 12–17 year olds (45.4%), with parents being the second most likely source (29.3%)1.
  • On average, there were 34 alcohol-related ambulance attendances in metropolitan Melbourne per day in 2013/14 (11% increase from 2011/12), and 11 per day in regional Victoria (8% increase). The average age of these patients was 40 years9.
  • Alcohol was the reason for the majority of drug-related ambulance attendances, with 12,482 attendances in 2013/14 compared to 3,021 for benzodiazepines, 1,869 for heroin, 1,714 for non-opioid analgesics (such as paracetamol) and 1,237 for crystal methamphetamine (ice)9.

If you are worried about your own use of alcohol or someone else’s alcohol use these services have websites with information pages, as well as confidential telephone support with very friendly people on the end of the phone who would love to talk to you.

Relationships Australia Victoria provides counselling for children, young people and families in our centres in Melbourne and regional Victoria. These include Ballarat, Boronia, Cranbourne, Greensborough, Kew, Sunshine, Shepparton and Traralgon. Find out more about how we can help you by clicking here.


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey Detailed Report. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Callinan, S & Room, R (2012). Alcohol consumption during pregnancy: results from the 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. Canberra: Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.
  3. Laslett, AM, Catalano, P, Chikritzhs, T, et al (2010). The range and magnitude of alcohol's harm to others, Fitzroy: AER Centre for Alcohol Policy Research.
  4. Gao, C, Ogeil, R & Lloyd, B (2014). Alcohol's burden of disease in Australia. Canberra: FARE, VicHealth & Turning Point.
  5. Australian Government Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development. (2010). Road deaths Australia 2010 statistical summary.
  6. Dale, CE & Livingston, M (2010). 'The burden of alcohol drinking on co-workers in the Australian workplace.' Medical Journal of Australia 193(3), pp. 138-140.
  7. Smith, A, Agius, P, Mitchell, A, Barrett, C & Pitts, M (2009). Secondary students and sexual health 2008: Results of the 4th National Survey of Australian Secondary Students, HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health. Melbourne: Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society.
  8. National Health and Medical Research Council (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. Canberra: NHMRC.
  9. Lloyd, B, Matthews, S, Gao, CX, Heilbronn, C & Beck, D (2015). Trends in alcohol and drug-related ambulance attendances in Victoria 2013/14. Fitzroy: Turning Point.
This resource is tagged with:
alcohol and other drugs