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Teenage drinking

Teenage drinking

Did you know?
  • Most drug related deaths of young Australians are due to alcohol.
  • 58% of the time alcohol is the drug involved for substance related admission into hospitals fro 15-34 year olds.
  • 814 people between the ages of 15 and 34 died as a result of the use of alcohol in 1998. In that same year 650 people aged 15-34 people died using illicit drugs. 
  • Just under 70 % of teenagers between 14-17 get alcohol from friends or relatives.
  • Just under 50% of girls and 44% of boys buy alcohol from shops.
  • 30% of 13-17 year olds participated in unsupervised drinking at a sports club and 71% of these had never been asked for proof of age.

Influences on teenagers drinking patterns

  • Wanting to try new experiences.
  • Wanting to socialise with friends.
  • Wanting to relax.
  • Peer group pressure.
  • Wanting to 'drown' problems.
  • Low self esteem.

Consequences of alcohol use for 13 –18 year olds

  • Involvement with drink-driving as a driver or passenger.
  • Injury to themselves or others through activities that involve risk or a degree of skill.
  • Long and short term harm of health.
  • Aggression or violence as the victim or perpetrator.
  • Sexual risk taking, including unprotected and or unwanted sexual activity.
  • Loss of face, reputation, embarrassment.
  • Impaired school or work performance and or attendance.
  • Legal and financial problems
  • Increased use of tobacco.

What 14-17 year olds are doing

The drinking patterns of teenagers aged between 14 and 17:

  • 78% have drunk alcohol at least once
  • 45% drink less than weekly
  • 28% drink weekly
  • 0.4% drink daily

By the time a teenager reaches 17:

  • 95% will have consumed alcohol.
  • 55% will have had a drink in the past week.

How often teenagers drink

  • 24.4% of girls drink weekly.
  • 31.2% of boys drink weekly.
  • 74.1% of girls report they are occasional drinkers.
  • 72.4% of boys report they are occasional drinkers.
  • 21% of teenagers say they have never had a full serve of alcohol.
  • 12% of girls report drinking harmful levels of alcohol (more than 5 standard drinks on any one day).
  • 10% of boys report drinking harmful levels of alcohol (more than 7 standard drinks on any one day).
  • 8% of teenagers regularly consume alcohol at risky levels (between 29 and 42 drinks for adult males and between 15 and 28 drinks for adult females).
  • 10% of females are more likely to consume risky levels of alcohol.
  • 6% of males are more likely to consume risky levels of alcohol.

Young people now start to drink at a younger age

  • In 2002, 63% of teens had their first drink at age 14.
  • Only 9% of people over 65 had their first drink at 14.

Source: The Australian Drug Foundation.