1995 National Survey
- Of those interviewed,
89% of the men and 85% of the women were
- Men consumed 73% of
the alcohol reported in the survey.
- The median annual
consumption reported by male drinkers was 7.4
litres of absolute alcohol. This is equivalent to
500 cans of beer a year, or a little over nine
cans a week. (Survey respondents tend to
under-report consumption.) The median is the
level that half the sample is above and half
below. This measure best indicates the behaviour
of the 'typical' drinker.]
- The 2.1 litre median
reported by the women drinkers is about 140
glasses of beer or 140 140-ml glasses of wine a
year, or a little under three cans of beer or
glasses of wine a week.
- The top 5% of
drinkers consumed over a third of the alcohol,
the equivalent of at least 48 cans of beer a
- The top 10% of
drinkers drank almost half of the alcohol, the
equivalent of at least 31 cans of beer a week.
- These top 10% of
drinkers were predominantly male (83%).
- Home production of
alcohol probably accounts for about 3% of the
- For the men drinkers,
the median frequency of drinking was about once
every two to three days, while for women drinkers
it was once every five or six days .
- 19% of the male who
drank and 10% of the women who drank did so every
- For the men, the
median quantity consumed on a typical drinking
occasion was 45 ml of alcohol, equivalent to
three cans of beer. For women it was 31 ml,
equivalent to two glasses of wine.
- When asked how often
they consumed six or more 15 ml drinks, almost
three-quarters of men drinkers (74%) said they
did so at least once a year, 41 % said they drank
this amount monthly and 21 % weekly.
- The 18 to 24 year old
men were most likely to consume these larger
quantities; 70% at least monthly and 38% at least
- When women drinkers
were asked how often they consumed four or more
15 ml drinks, 57% said they did so at least
annually, 22% at least monthly and 8% at least
- The 16 to 24 year old
women were most likely to drink these larger
quantities; 47% at least monthly and 20% at least
- 31% of male drinkers
and 14% of female drinkers drank enough to feel
drunk at least once a month. For 13% of men and
4% of women this occurred at least weekly.
- Of the 18 to 24 year
old male drinkers, almost one in three reported
that they felt drunk at least once a week.
- Men were over
two-thirds (71%) of those who reported drinking
enough to feel drunk.
Location of drinking
- Most drinkers (97%)
had drunk at places other than their own home at
some time during the previous year.
- Only 6% of drinkers
drank exclusively in their own home or in the
homes of others.
- Over half the alcohol
was consumed in private homes. The men consumed
35% their intake of alcohol in their own homes
and 16% in others' homes. For the women, the
figures were 46% and 19%.
nightclubs, sports clubs and other clubs were the
location for a third of men's consumption of
alcohol, and just over a fifth of women's
- The locations in
which the largest quantities were consumed by the
men were pubs/hotels/ taverns, others' homes,
nightclubs, and sports or racing events. At these
locations they typically drank the equivalent of
four cans of beer.
- Women typically drank
the equivalent of about three glasses of wine (45
ml) at nightclubs and about two glasses at most
nightclubs, sports clubs and other clubs were
frequently mentioned as the usual location for
drinking larger quantities by those who drank
larger quantities at least once a week (mentioned
by 53% of men and 36% of women). Their own home
was also frequently mentioned by this group (40%
of men and 51 % of women).
Changes in drinking
- Compared to a year
ago, a third of drinkers said they were drinking
less and 16% were drinking more.
- Concerns about
drinking and driving, health and fitness were
most often mentioned as reasons for decreased
- Alcohol being served
at more of the social occasions attended was the
most frequently mentioned reason for increased
drinking. Other frequently mentioned reasons were
having more money to spend on alcohol and
increasing acceptability of drinking alcohol in a
wide range of places.
- 18 to 29 year old men
who had increased their drinking often mentioned
reasons relating to increasedavailability of
availability of so many places where it
is enjoyable to drink,
- the range of
places selling takeaway alcohol making it
easier to buy,
alcohol being more available when
supplies run out, and
opening hours of places selling alcohol.
- 12% of drinkers felt
they were drinking more than they were happy
- Men aged 20 to 29
years (24%) and women aged 14 to 24 years (16%)
were the most likely to feel they were drinking
more than they were happy with.
Alcohol related problems
- People were asked
about harmful effects from their own drinking in
five areas of their lives: home life, friendships
or social life, health, work or work
opportunities, and financial position. More than
one in four men (28%) and one in six women (17%)
reported some level of harmful effect in the last
year in at least one of these areas.
- One in seven 16 to 24
year olds (14%) felt their drinking was having a
large or medium harmful effect on their financial
- Those interviewed
were asked whether they had experienced specific
problems in the previous 12 months as a result of
their own drinking. One in four men (24%) and one
in eight women (12%) had experienced at least
three of the 14 problems asked about.
- Younger people were
more likely to report these problems. Over half
of the 18 to 24 year old men and a third of the
16 to 24 year old women reported experiencing at
least three. Over a third of the 16 to 17 year
old males also reported this level of problems.
- 21% of the men and
11% of the women had woken the next day unable to
remember things they had donewhile drinking.
- 16% of the men and 9%
of the women had felt ashamed of things they did
- 12% of the men and 8%
of the women had had a serious argument after
- Men, who consumed
around three-quarters of the alcohol, accounted
for nearly three-quarters of the reports of
problems arising from respondents' own drinking.
- The top 10% of
drinkers, who accounted for almost half the
alcohol consumed, also accounted for half the
reports of problems arising from respondents' own
- 35% of the drinkers
had driven in the last 12 months when they had
'probably had too much to drink'. Almost half of
20 to 29 year old men had done so.
- 40% of the women and
37% of the men reported that the drinking of
others had had a harmful effect in at least one
of the three areas they were asked about: (home
life, friendships or social life, and financial
- 10% of the men and 5%
of the women had been physically assaulted in the
previous 12 months by someonewho had been
drinking. Among 16 to 24 year olds, 22% of men
and 12% of women had been assaulted by drinkers.
- 11% of the women and
3% of the men stated that they had been sexually
harassed in the previous 12 months by someone who
had been drinking. Over a quarter (27%) of women
aged 16 to 24 years had experienced such
- 37% of those
interviewed had been seriously concerned or
worried about the drinking of friends, relatives
or acquaintances in the previous 12 months.
- Questions were asked
about responsible hosting practices, especially
at licensed premises. The majority of those who
drank at pubs, nightclubs and sports clubs
thought that drunks would be served at these
- Although some of the
14 to 19 year olds had been refused entry or
alcohol in licensed premises, the rate of refusal
was low, even among 14 to 17 year olds.
- 8% of the 14 to 19
year olds had purchased takeaway alcohol in the
previous 12 months, and they seldom had had their
- Police were not very
often seen at licensed drinking locations, with
their presence particularly low in sports clubs.
- 4% of those
interviewed had not consumed alcohol in the last
12 months, or had stopped within that period.
- Of these abstainers,
65% (9% of the total sample) had never been
drinkers. Some of these were 14 to 19 year olds;
7% of people aged 20 years and over had never
- Most abstainers who
had previously been drinkers had stopped once and
never started again (83%).
- Concern about effects
on their health was the most common reason for
- Of those who had
stopped drinking, 25% had been assisted by
friends and family, 17% by their local doctor,
- 10% by a counsellor
(not from an alcohol treatment service ), 8% by
Alcoholics Anonymous or some other support group,
and 7% by an alcohol treatment service. 59% had
not been assisted by any of these when stopping
Regional and urban/rural
- A regional analysis
was undertaken on the basis of Regional Health
Authority areas. On most questions there were no
significant regional variations except for the
Northern region, where the differences were in
the Auckland urban area.
- Aucklanders drank
more frequently than others. This resulted in
Auckland women consuming more per year than other
women. However, Auckland men consumed similar
annual volumes to other men because they drank
smaller quantities than other men on typical
- There were a number
of other variations by level of urbanisation,
with men in rural areas likely to drink smaller
quantities, less likely to have increased their
drinking in the last 12 months. They were less
likely to get drunk at least monthly, and
reported fewer harmful effects from their own
drinking of that of others. Rural men and women
who drank larger quanitites were less likely to
do so in public venues; and rural women reported
the lowest level of sexual harassment from
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