Ten to Men: Alcohol use among Australian males

“The latest Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health report found alcohol use to be prevalent among adult males, with around nine in ten (88%) Australian men aged 18 and over having consumed alcohol in the past 12 months. 

AIFS Research Fellow, Dr Brendan Quinn, said that while the majority of Australian men typically drank at levels considered to be ‘low risk’, young adult males aged 18-24 were significantly more likely to engage in moderate-to-high risk alcohol use than older men.1

National guidelines2 recommend that adolescents and children avoid alcohol until the age of 18 years. However, approximately four in 10 [41%] adolescent Australian males aged 15–17 years were estimated to have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months. Of that group, a further four in 10 [39%] usually engaged in ‘binge’ drinking, consuming more than four standard drinks in a single session, and around one in 10 consumed 10 or more standard drinks in a typical session,” Dr Quinn said.

“Of adolescent males aged 15–17 years who had drunk alcohol in the past year, 31 per cent drank on a monthly basis, and a further 17 per cent drank weekly or more often.”

The report, which investigated the drinking habits of Australian males aged 10 years and older, also found that drinking before the recommended age of 18 years was associated with more frequent alcohol use in early adulthood. Almost half of adolescent drinkers surveyed in 2013/14 had gone on to drink alcohol at moderate-to-high-risk levels in early adulthood – compared to just 20% who had not been drinking at all in adolescence.

Anne Hollonds, Director of AIFS, said that reducing the number of males starting to drink in adolescence was crucial to the long term health of men.

“Our research shows that males who start drinking in adolescence are likely to carry high risk patterns of alcohol use into adulthood.

“It is important that parents and adolescents understand that avoiding alcohol until adulthood is best to prevent harmful habits forming early,” she said.”

Find out more in the Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health Insights Report (Australia, 2021)

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