Life Wellbeing Teen drinking has halved in the past decade, study

Teen drinking has halved in the past decade, study

Teens are choosing juice over stubbies. Photo: Getty
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New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has revealed one in five Australian teens are abstaining from alcohol.

That number is up five per cent since 2004 – and provides a positive picture of the increasing number of young people wary of the damaging effects of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption for the year 2013/14 was down across the board, with the average Australian now drinking 9.7 litres of pure alcohol, compared with 10.8 litres in 2004/05.

The AIHW data found that teen drinking has halved in the past decade, dropping from 56 per cent to 28 per cent of young Australians.

Binge drinking – or consuming 11 drinks or more in a session – was also well down.

The study pointed to a number of factors contributing to the lower consumption levels.

“Research shows increasing the price of alcohol, restricting trading hours and reducing outlet density can have positive outcomes in reducing consumption and harms related to alcohol use,” it read.

Australians between the ages of 18 and 24 were still the most likely to drink at dangerous levels, but were the least likely to receive treatment fro alcohol problems.

The report also found members of the LGBTIQ community, as well as people living in remote areas, were more likely to drink heavily.

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