Prevalence

Alcohol is the most widely used psychoactive drug in Australia [34063]. In 2016 about 3 in 4 Australians over the age of 14 drank alcohol in the past 12 months. However the proportion of people who drink alcohol every day has been declining since 2001 [33725].

Information from surveys indicate that:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to abstain from drinking alcohol than non-Indigenous people [34063][33725][26737]
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who do drink, are more likely to drink at levels that cause harm to their health than non-Indigenous people
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are more likely than women to consume alcohol at levels that pose lifetime risk to their health
  • younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (18-34 years) in remote areas are more likely to drink at levels that exceed life time risk
  • the overall number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reporting drinking at risky levels has been declining [31278][16936].

Key surveys containing information on prevalence of alcohol use are: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social survey (NATSISS), the National drug strategy household survey (NDSHS) and the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health survey (AATSIHS) which can be found under publications in this section. For a summary of statistical information updated yearly on alcohol use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, see  also our latest Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status.

References

Key resources

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Artwork

Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) - Pirlinyarnu by Juliette Nampijinpa Brown

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.
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