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Alcohol In New Zealand - Facts

7 March 2005

Alcohol In New Zealand - Facts

In 2004, New Zealanders aged 15 years and over drank a total of 28.69 million litres of alcohol. Internationally, that puts New Zealand 24th in alcohol consumption per head out of 50 countries. 88 percent of men and 83 percent of women are happy to claim that they are drinkers. Nearly half the population thinks that it is okay to get drunk. 25 percent of current teenage drinkers admit to having drunk at least five glasses of alcohol at least once in the last two weeks. 125,000 teenagers under the age of 17 fall into the category of binge drinkers.

75,000 will drink regularly – once every two weeks – and binge. 50,000 drink at least once a week and binge, usually with the intention of getting drunk. 635,000 adults drink at least once a week and binge.

785,000 adults drink regularly, often every day, and with equal regularity binge. 1.2 million drinkers are okay with bingeing or accepting of bingeing and regularly do so. 450,000 of us were binge drinking on our last drinking occasion. In New Zealand we estimate that alcohol harm costs somewhere between $1 billion and $4 billion a year. It costs the public health sector $655 million. It costs in crime and related costs $240 million. It costs in social welfare $200 million and in other government spending $330 million. In lost productivity, it costs about $1.17 billion a year. Alcohol is responsible for 70 percent of accident and emergency hospital admissions. 75 to 90 percent of weekend crime is attributable to alcohol. One in four women can’t remember what they did while drinking. 3.9% of all deaths in New Zealand in 2000 were attributable to alcohol consumption (approximately 1040 deaths)


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