Underage drinking in Australia

Many people - especially parents - are deeply concerned at the amount of under-age drinking in Australia.  DSICA shares that concern.

The percentages of underage people drinking in Australia peaked in  2001/2002 and has been in steady decline ever since.  These trends are for both any level of drinking and for risky drinking.  

The age of first having a drink is also increasing - young Australians are putting off the start of drinking.

While there remains a long way to go to reduce underage drinking to a minimum, very credible and well-established government-run surveys have show these positive trends.

The National Drug Strategy Household Survey is the largest and most reliable survey of how Australains drink.  It is carried out every three years by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The alcohol and drug use by Australian secondary school students is surveyed every three years in the ASSAD survey.  This survey is conducted by each state, and results are reported both by each state and on a nationwide basis.  Over 20,000 students are surveyed.

The 2008 ASSAD was conducted in the second half of 2008 and after the RTD tax increase.  However, this survey found no change from the  2005 survey in underage drinkers' choice of preferred drink.

The 2011 ASSAD survey showed the declining trend conintuing. 

DSICA members have adopted the Statement of Responsible Practices for Alcohol Advertising and Marketing to set a new and higher standard for alcohol marketing.

DSICA members were pivotel in the establishment of DrinkWise Australia, a social marketing organisation that is trying to educate parensts in order to change the underage drinking culture, and our members remain DrinkWise funders today.

Pre-mixed alcohol and energy drinks are convenient but controversial. Banning them will simply cause heavy pre-loading of the energy components.

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