Australia’s most at-risk drinkers

Peter Terlato 7 October 2016

Young adults Australia drinking

Aussies in their forties receive the most treatment for alcohol use.

New trend stats have revealed alcohol consumption levels in Australia have fallen in recent years, abstinence is on the rise and there are positive trends in risky alcohol consumption.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released its Trends in alcohol availability, use and treatment 2003-04 to 2014-15 report, which shows overall alcohol consumption has fallen from 10.8 litres per person, per year in 2008-09 to 9.7 litres in 2013-14.

The proportion of Aussies who abstain from drinking has risen from 17% in 2004 to 22% in 2013.

Australian's risky alcohol consumption levels for single occasion drinking fell 11%, from 2,950 per 10,000 people in 2004 to 2,640 in 2013. The proportion of Aussies drinking at risky levels over their lifetime have also dropped, from 2,080 per 10,000 people in 2004 to 1,820 in 2013.

However, alcohol was the leading cause of burden of disease for Australians under the age of 45 in 2011.

In terms of drinking at risky levels, young adults (18-24) are proportionately the most precarious but also the least likely to receive treatment for alcohol use.

The group comprised 47% of Australians who regularly drink riskily on single occasions, 33% of yearly risky drinkers and 18% of monthly risky drinkers.

Despite lower levels of consumption, alcohol treatment has increased substantially over the last 10 years, up 20% to 30 treatment episodes per 10,000 Aussies in 2013-14.

While young adults were seen to be the riskiest drinkers, it's those in their forties (49%) who are more likely to receive treatment for alcohol use.

Rates of risky drinking and alcohol treatment also rose substantially among those in remote and very remote areas of Australia between 2004 and 2013.

Excessive alcohol consumption can have a number of detrimental consequences for your health and negatively impact life insurance premiums.

Putting down the bottle could save you more than $40,000 in interest on your home loan. If you're thinking of quitting drinking, our simple guide can help you figure out where to begin.

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