Study finds alcohol consumption among students is significantly declining

The latest Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey has found that Alcohol consumption by Australian students is significantly decreasing.

The survey, which is conducted every three years, found that around a quarter of 12 to 17 year olds had consumed alcohol in the past month compared to 37 per cent in 2008.

In Queensland, less than one in five students aged 12 to 17 consumed an alcoholic drink in the week prior to the survey.


Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Nicole Border said in the lead up to Schoolies Week in Queensland, the decrease in alcohol consumption by school students nationally was encouraging.

“We’re pleased to see a downward trend in alcohol consumption among young people in Australia – reducing their risk of alcohol-related harm,” Ms Border said.

“Awareness of the adverse health effects and short and long-term consequences of harmful alcohol consumption is key.

“Of concern, the data shows still more than a third (36 per cent) of school students aged 16 or 17 had at least one alcoholic drink in the week before the survey.

The ASSAD study also found among students who identified themselves as either current drinkers or who had a drink within the last 12 months, parents or guardians were the most likely source of the students’ last alcoholic drink (44 per cent), followed by friends (20 per cent).

Alcohol consumption is linked with 3200 cases of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, bowel and female breast in Australia each year.

Around 23,000 secondary students aged between 12 and 17 years participated in the 2014 ASSAD Survey nationally.