What is alcohol?
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Alcohol use in Australia has remained relatively stable over the past 10 years.
In 2019, 79.2% of South Australians had consumed at least one full serve of alcohol in the last 12 months. The national percentage was 76.6%.
The percentage of Australians who drink alcohol on a daily basis decreased significantly from 6% in 2016 to 5.4% in 2019.
In South Australia in 2019, 5.8% reported drinking alcohol daily; men were 3.5 times more likely to drink daily than South Australian women. Nationally, 1.8 times as many men reported drinking daily but decreased significantly, from 7.7% in 2016 to 6.9% in 2019. Daily drinking remained stable among Australian women (3.9% in 2019).
Just over one-third (34.9%) of Australians in 2019 reported drinking weekly (excluding daily drinkers), which remained stable from 2016 (36.1%). In 2019, 36.8% of South Australians reported drinking weekly (excluding daily drinkers).
The proportion of secondary school students who had ever tried alcohol has decreased significantly since 1996.
Between 2011 and 2014, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of secondary school students who reported having ever tried alcohol (from 77.5% to 67.4%). There was also a significant decrease in reported alcohol consumption in the last week (from 15% in 2011 to 10.4% in 2014). This remained stable in 2017 (66.8% reported ever trying alcohol and 12.3% in the last week).
A greater proportion of secondary school students reported drinking alcohol as they got older. In 2017, 60.4% of 12-15 year olds had tried alcohol compared with 78.9% of 16-17 year olds; 7.4% had consumed alcohol in the last week (compared with 21.6% of 16-17 year olds).
Almost one-fifth (17.2%) of secondary school students consumed more than four standard drinks (exceeding the recommended guidelines) at least once in a single occasion of drinking within the past two weeks, and 26.8% within the last month. Just over half (51.2%) had done so in the last year, and 57.2% in their lifetime.