16 July 2020
Findings released today from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey* reinforces the positive trend that Australians are drinking more responsibly than ever before.
In line with recent DrinkWise data**, the AIHW findings indicate the biggest drivers of this trend have come from one in three (31%) Australians consciously cutting down their alcohol intake at any one time, decreases in daily drinking (from 6% in 2016 to 5.4% in 2019), along with an increase in the number of Australians abstaining from alcohol; from 22.6% in 2016 to 23.8% in 2019.
DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan is pleased to see the ongoing positive drinking culture in Australia, particularly when it comes to the abstinence findings for “at-risk” groups.
“It’s reassuring to see that Australians are making better choices when it comes to their alcohol consumption. Of significant importance is the increase in abstinence by pregnant women, increasing from 55.6% in 2016 to 65% in 2019 and the vast shift in abstinence among minors over the last decade, from 39.1% in 2007 to 72.5% in 2019,” said Strahan.
“While these figures clearly show we’re heading in the right direction, it’s important that we understand why some “at-risk” Australians are still choosing to drink, in order to reach 100% abstinence rates for these groups,” added Strahan.
Importantly, those drinking at risky levels has also seen a decrease from 17.2% in 2016 to 16.8% in 2019 for lifetime risk and for single occasion risky drinkers, a decline from 25.7% in 2016 to 24.8% in 2019.
As a nation, these results show that Australians are choosing to adopt healthier and safer drinking behaviours and taking notice of how much and how often they are consuming alcohol.
As an evidence-based organisation, DrinkWise continues to rely on important data collections like this of the AIHW, as well as other independent research findings to help inform and target its education campaigns.
To find out more about DrinkWise education programs, campaigns or research, visit www.drinkwise.org.au
Notes to editors:
DrinkWise is an evidence-based social change organisation dedicated to changing the Australian drinking culture to one that is safer and healthier. We do this through national education campaigns, partnerships with community leaders and organisations, and the development of practical strategies and resources that better support the community in relation to the responsible use of alcohol. DrinkWise is funded through voluntary industry contributions across the alcohol sector and has previously been in receipt of funding from both Coalition and Labor governments.MEDIA RELEASE DrinkWise + AIHW 2019 Survey (final website)