A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found that while young adults are more likely than any other age group to drink at risky levels, they were the least likely to receive treatment for alcohol use.
It found instead that it was the older age groups who were more likely to receive treatment, with almost half (49 per cent) of clients receiving treatment for alcohol being aged in their forties.
Spokesperson for the AIHW, Tim Beard said the report, Trends in Alcohol Availability, Use and Treatment 2003-04 to 2014-15 revealed that overall, the use of alcohol treatment had increased to 30 treatment episodes per 10,000 people in 2013-14, up 20 per cent from a decade ago.
“While treatment for alcohol use had been consistently rising, alcohol consumption has fallen,” Mr Beard said.
“In 2013-14, consumption of alcohol was 9.7 litres per person, down from 10.8 litres in 2008-09.
“On the same note, the proportion of Australians who abstain from drinking alcohol has also risen in recent years, from 17 per cent in 2004 to 22 per cent in 2013.”
“Between 2004 and 2013 there was an 11 per cent fall in the rate of Australians drinking at risky levels on a single occasion (from 2,950 to 2,640 per 10,000 population), and a 13 per cent fall in those drinking at risky levels over their lifetime (from 2,080 to 1,820 per 10,000 population),” Mr Beard said. He said there had also been some positive trends in risky alcohol consumption.
“These results suggest strategies such as increasing the price of alcohol, restricting trading hours and reducing outlet density can have positive outcomes in reducing the overall consumption levels of alcohol.”
He said that while there were positive drinking patterns emerging overall, patterns of risky drinking and alcohol dependence continued to be significant issues in Australia, with less favourable patterns seen among some groups.
Read the 40-page report here