Alcohol harm statistics

When you drink too much, you put yourself at an increased risk of a variety of serious problems:


Alcohol is responsible for, or contributes to:

  • 30% of road accidents [1]
  • 44% of fire injuries [1]
  • 34% of falls and drownings [1]
  • 16% of child abuse cases [1]
  • 12% of suicides [1]
  • 10% of industrial accidents [1]
  • approximately 12,500 hospitalisations (both chronic and acute) in South Australia each year [2]
  • approximately 600 deaths in South Australia each year resulting from chronic and acute conditions [2]
  • exacerbating depression.


In 2010, more than 70,000 Australians were victims of alcohol-related assault, among which 24,000 were victims of alcohol-related domestic violence. [3]

In 2008/09, in the Adelaide central business district:

  • 58% of victim-reported crime was alcohol related. [4]
  • 65% of serious assaults were alcohol related. [4]
  • 65% of minor assaults were alcohol related in 2008-09. [4]
  • In 2009, 90 alcohol-related incidents of glassings occurred (smashed drink container used as a weapon). [5]

For more information about legal consequences of drinking too much, visit the Alcohol and the law page.


In a six-country research project, 39.8 % of men who drink too much aged 18 to 23 agreed that excessive alcohol consumption had had a harmful effect on social aspects of their lives (work/studies/employment prospects, marriage/intimate relationship, family relationships, friendships/social life, physical health, finances). The figure for males aged 24 to 32 was 23.8%. The responses for females in corresponding age groups were 28.4% and 11% respectively.

In the same study, 13% of respondents reported being asked by their spouse/partner, colleague/schoolmate, doctor/health worker to reduce their drinking.[6]

Other alcohol-related statistics



[1] National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) Consortium. (2004), Alcohol and Other Drugs: A Handbook for Health Professionals. Australian Government Department of Health and Wellbeing.

[2] DASSA Statistical Bulletin No.6, Alcohol-attributable mortality and morbidity rates in South Australia, October 2013

[3] Roche, A.M, Bywood, P.T, Borlagdon, J, Lunnay, B, Freeman, T, Lawton, L, Tovell, A & Nicholas, R. (2007). Young People and Alcohol: The Role of Cultural Influences, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, South Australia.

[4] South Australia Police website data

[5] South Australia Police (July 2010). Alcohol and Crime Report.

[6] Plant, M.A. Plant, M.L, The social consequences of binge drinking: A comparison of young adults in six European countries, Journal of Addictive Diseases, 28: 4, 294-308, 2009.

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