ALCOHOL AWARENESS SURVEY

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					ALCOHOL AWARENESS SURVEY

   Conducted for The Salvation Army

       by Roy Morgan Research



        14th / 15th August 2002




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MAIN FINDINGS


Binge drinking for both young males and females has reached epidemic
proportions, 35% of teenage males (14-19 ) admitted to drinking in one day
between 11 and 30 alcoholic drinks. The figure for teenage females drinking
between 9 and 30 drinks was 22%. (see table 1)

For young adults ( 20 to 24) 54% of males and 19% of females were binge
drinkers. The average binge drinking session lasts about 4 hours.

In the past five years the prevalence of binge drinking has doubled. (see table 2)

By comparison only 7% of males 50 to 64 took part in binge drinking and no
females in this age group were involved.

We define binge drinking as being at least 3 times the accepted level of drinking
for males 2 drinks for the first hour and 1 drink an hour after that and for females
1 drink for the first hour and 1 drink an hour after that.

Average weekly alcohol consumption has doubled in the past 10 years for the
14 –24 age group. In 1992 14% said they consumed 6 drinks or more. In 2002 it
had doubled to 28%. This generation of drinkers starts younger, drinks more and
indulges in binge drinking to a greater extent than any previous generation. (see
table 3)

None drinkers are dropping in number down from 39% ten years ago to 32%
today. Amongst the 14-24’s it has dropped from 54% to 30% and the number of
women who do not drink has dropped from 50% to 39%. None drinking is no
longer as social acceptable as it used to be but it is significant that there are
more none drinkers than binge drinkers. (see table 3)

The age at which children start to drink is now less than 14 on average.

There has been a dramatic change in the introduction of young people aged 14
to 19 to alcoholic drink. 63% have had their first drink by the age of 14 (14% by
the age of 11). This compares with 9% of people now over 65 who had their first
drink by the age of 14. (see table 4)

The younger a person is when they start to drink the more likely they are to drink
more than 30 drinks a week. The mean starting age for those who drink more
than 30 drinks a week is 12 compared to 16 for all those who drink.

Where the family income is over $50,000 drinking commences at 15 and for
families earning less than $25,000 drinking commences at 18.




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The reason people drink varies according to age. The young ( 14 –24 ) drink to
fit in at social occasions ( 42% ) while those 50+ drink to relax ( 30% )

Women increasingly drink to ‘fit in at social occasions’ while men increasingly
drink to relax. (see table 5)

Despite the huge increase in those who binge drink only 2% are prepared to say
they drink to get drunk.

‘Two glasses a day are good for my health’ is a reason for 7% of those over 35 to
drink but does not influence those under 35 at all.

SUMMARY

Binge drinking is very dangerous and is far higher today than ever before.
Currently 3,700 people a year die from complications related to alcohol abuse.
This kind of binge drinking will greatly increase the death rate from alcohol
related diseases as the effects of a life time of excessive drinking become
evident. The health effects of excessive drinking does not influence the drinking
                          ut
habits of young people b unintended sex, violence and other injuries from falls
and uncontrolled behaviour have immediate effects.

The Governments of Australia are all concerned and have instituted educational
campaigns to reach young people and parents. The Salvation Army sees the
terrible effects on all age groups though our rehabilitation programs that saw
30,000 people last year trying to get off alcohol and drugs. We also see the
victims in our homeless crisis centres were sadly the average age is 30.

                         n
The massive change i the drinking habits of young people in recent years is
even more worrying than the taking of illegal drugs as it effects so many more
people. There is a community acceptance of alcohol that with the positive health
findings of recent years has hidden the dreadful effects of excessive drinking.

We call on all those who drink to consider their consumption in objective terms.
Binge drinking will cause immediate and long term consequences that will almost
inevitably ruin your life in one way or another. Please if you drink then drink
responsibly.




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ABOUT THE SURVEY

The survey was conducted by CATI (A Division of Roy Morgan Research Pty.Ltd)

The sample was an Australia wide random sample of 614 men and women 14
years of age and over. They were interviewed by telephone on the 14th and 15th
of August 2002.

Number of people interviewed by age group was as follows:-

             AGE GROUP              NUMBER            PERCENTAGE
          14 – 19                              70              11%
          20 – 24                              51               8%
          25 – 34                             114              18%
          35 – 49                             170              27%
          50 – 64                             124              21%
          65 plus                              85              14%
          TOTAL                               614             100%
          (14 AND OVER)

          MEN                                 299               49%
          WOMEN                               315               51%


QUESTIONS ASKED:

   1.     How many glasses of alcohol do you have on average each week?
   2.     How old were you when you had your first alcoholic drink?
   3.                                                                       ou
          During the last month, what is the greatest number of drinks that y
          have had in one day?
   4.     Which one of the following best describes why you usually drink?

          A   To fit in at social activities
          B   To relax
          C   Like the taste
          D   No longer drinks alcohol
          E   One or two glasses a day are good for you
          F   To get drunk




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TABLE 1

Maximum drinks had in a four hour session during last month

                MALE        FEMALE      MALE        FEMALE      MALE       FEMALE
                14-19       14-19       20-24       20-24       50-60      50-60

NONE            2           23          15          10          19         23
1-4 FEMALES                 27                      40                     59
1-5 MALES       27                      20                      37
RESPONSIBLE     29          50          35          50          56         82
DRINKING

5-8 FEMALE S                24                      28                     13
6-10 MALES      25                      10                      34
DOUBLE          25          24          10          28          34         13
SENSIBLE
LEVEL

9-12 FEMALES                6                       5                      -
11-16 MALES     20                      28                      3
DRUNK           20          6           28          5           3          -

13-30                       16                      14                     -
FEMALES
17-30 MALES     15                      26                      4
VERY DRUNK      15          16          26          14          4          -

BINGE           35          22          54          19          7          -
DRINKING*

*(9-30+ DRINKS FEMALES / 11-30+ DRINKS MALES)


• Medical authorities state that 2 drinks of beer or red wine a day with a ‘rest’ of
  2 days a week are good for your health.
• Responsible drinking for a male is two drinks in the first hour and one an hour
  after that for females it is one drink in the first hour and one an hour after that.




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TABLE 2

During the last month what is the greatest number of drinks that
you have had in one day?


          GREATEST DRINKS IN ONE DAY BY ALL PEOPLE OVER 14
                    (AVERAGE SESSION 4 HOURS)
          NONE      2           4        6            8           10         10 +          20 +
           %      DRINKS      DRINKS   DRINKS       DRINKS      DRINKS      DRINKS        DRINKS
                    %           %        %            %           %           %             %
MEN          15         16        16           14           8           6           27              7
WOMEN        22         28        17           13           5           4            7              -



                     10 DRINKS OR MORE IN ONE DAY

        TOTAL     MEN        WOMEN     14-19        14-24       25-34       35-49        50 +
          %        %           %        %            %           %            %           %

2002        18       27           7       33           45          32            16             6
2001        14       22          10       28           33          29            11             5
1997         9       16           3       NA           18          14             9             6


This shows the greatest prevalence of binge drinking amongst under 35 year
olds with women now more likely to participate.




TABLE 3

How many glasses of alcohol do you have on average each
week?

          NUMBER OF          TOTAL     MEN WOMEN 14-24                  25-34       35-49       50+
          ALCOHOLIC            %        %    %     %                      %          %           %
            DRINKS

2002         NONE                32     23             39        30         23           26         40
1992         NONE                39     28             50        54         29           30         43

2002        6 PLUS               30     44             18        28         29           31         33
1992        6 PLUS               24     34             13        14         25           28         25




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 TABLE 4

 How old were you when you had your first alcoholic drink?


        AGE WHEN HAD FIRST DRINK                                    AGE AT PRESENT

                   TOTAL     MEN       WOMEN        14-19      14-24      25–34 35-49    50-64      65 +
                     %        %          %           %          %           %    %         %         %

10 OR       2002         8        10          8          11        110        11     8                   2
YOUNGER

14 OR       2002        29        34         26          63        53         32    27        14         9
YOUNGER     2001        29        34         25          64        52         30    30        14         8
            1995        21        24         17          NA        36         25    19        10        NA

16 OR       2002        57        67         48          87        79         67    64        28        18
YOUNGER     2001        53        62         45          82        75         72    53        27        26
            1995        48        56         41          NA        69         56    51        28        NA

18 OR       2002        80        87         74          91        95         91    85        52        49
YOUNGER     2001        73        83         65          86        87         87    80        50        46
            1995        60        68         53          NA        78         71    67        37        NA

NEVER       2002         4        3           6           7         7          3     2                  10
DRANK       2001         6        3           9                     8          2     2        10
            1995         7        6           8                    15          3     4         8


   14 OR      TOTAL      CAP       COUNTRY        MELB      SYD    BRIS       ADL   PERTH     TAS
  YOUNGER               CITIES
                   29        31          28         30        29         22    23        36        35



 3% of men and 9% of women have never drunk but in an average week 23% of
 men and 39 % of women do not drink.




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TABLE 5

Which line best describes why you usually drink?

                         TOTAL    MEN WOMEN        14-24   25-34    35-49     50+
                           %       %    %           %        %        %        %

 Because I        2002       14    15         13      17       21      13        11
 like the taste   2001       17    17         17      18       16      21        15
                  1995       36    35         37      35       38      38        33

 To fit in at     2002       31    27         35      42       33      33        22
 social           2001       27    29         25      30       26      26        30
 activities       1995       28    27         29      26       29      27        30

 To help me       2002       28    34         23      16       28      34        30
 relax            2001       26    33         19      18       35      28        26
                  1995       26    26         26      20       24      29        27

 To get drunk     2002        2     3          1       8        1       1            -
                  2001        2     3          2       7        4       1            -
                  1995        3     4          1      11        2       -            -

 Two glasses      2002       5      5         4        -       -        6        8
 a day are        2001       2      3         2        2       1        1        6
 good for my      1995      NA     NA        NA       NA      NA       NA       NA
 health

The importance of fitting in at social occasions and the low incidence of drinking
to get drunk do not agree with the drinking behaviour previously detailed in this
report unless people start out drinking to ‘fit in’ and end up drinking more than
they had intended.




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