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Don’t believe the hype, teens are drinking less than they used to

image - Youth Alcohol Square

Ask your friends and colleagues about young Australians and alcohol and I bet they’ll say something about a generation out of control or a binge-drinking epidemic.

The media regularly brings the worst outcomes of young people’s drinking to our attention and points to a problematic drinking culture supposedly unique to young Australians. Little wonder people believe things have never been so bad.

The reality is startlingly different. Data recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows alcohol consumption in Australia has reached its lowest point since the early 1960s, having declined steadily since the mid-2000s. Survey data suggests this decline has been driven almost entirely by reductions in youth drinking.