National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011

4.9 What do students do after consuming alcohol and what are their intentions to get drunk?

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Table 4.12 lists the 10 most common negative outcomes that current drinkers reported experiencing after drinking alcohol in the last 12 months. Students could select more than one outcome for this question. Prevalence figures are reported by gender and age.

Table 4.12: The main negative outcomes that current drinkers# have experienced after drinking alcohol in the past 12 months, Australia, 2011 (multiple responses allowed)

12 to 15 years

Negative outcome
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
-
-
(n=947)
(n=947)
(n=1894)
Been sick
(vomited)
21.6
28.5
24.7
Had an argument
19.1
27.7
23.0
Attended work or school
14.4
19.2
16.6
Verbally abused someone
12.9
14.7
13.7
Tried any drugs
11.5
12.9
12.1
Created a public disturbance or nuisance
12.3
9.8
11.1
Hit someone or had a fight
15.7
8.4
12.4
Caused damage to property
10.3
7.1
8.9
Missed school
7.9
10.4
9.0
Been in trouble with the police
8.3
8.0
8.2

16 to 17 years

Negative outcome
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
-
(n=1371)
(n=1421)
(n=2792)
Been sick
(vomited)
45.7
45.8
45.8
Had an argument
31.0
30.8
30.9
Attended work or school
24.3
27.0
25.6
Verbally abused someone
24.6
18.5
21.6
Tried any drugs
24.6
19.3
22.0
Created a public disturbance or nuisance
23.4
10.4
17.0
Hit someone or had a fight
15.0
8.2
11.7
Caused damage to property
20.5
8.2
14.5
Missed school
8.2
8.2
8.2
Been in trouble with the police
11.4
5.3
8.5

Total

Negative outcome
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
-
(n=2318)
(n=2368)
(n=4686)
Been sick
(vomited)
34.3
38.2
36.1
Had an argument
25.3
29.4
27.3
Attended work or school
19.6
23.6
21.5
Verbally abused someone
19.1
16.8
18.0
Tried any drugs
18.4
16.5
17.5
Created a public disturbance or nuisance
18.1
10.1
14.3
Hit someone or had a fight
15.3
8.3
12.0
Caused damage to property
15.7
7.7
11.9
Missed school
8.1
9.1
8.6
Been in trouble with the police
10.0
6.5
8.3

12 to 15 years

Total Number of Negative Outcomes (%)
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
None
46.1
46.9
46.4
One negative outcome
20.6
15.6
18.3
Two negative outcomes
9.3
12.5
10.7
Three or more negative outcomes
24.1
25.0
24.5

16 to 17 years

Total Number of Negative Outcomes (%)
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
None
29.9
32.0
30.9
One negative outcome
18.3
20.6
19.4
Two negative outcomes
11.2
17.0
14.0
Three or more negative outcomes
40.6
30.4
35.6

Total

Total Number of Negative Outcomes (%)
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
None
37.6
38.5
38.0
One negative outcome
19.4
18.4
18.9
Two negative outcomes
10.3
15.0
12.5
Three or more negative outcomes
32.7
28.0
30.5


# Current drinkers: students who drank on any of the past seven days.
^ Includes responses to all negative outcomes listed in the survey, not just the main ones listed above (refer to Q20 in the survey in
Appendix 1 to see list of all negative outcomes).

Around 36% of current drinkers reported that they had vomited after consuming alcohol at some time in the past 12 months. Current drinkers aged 16 to 17 years were more likely to report that they had vomited than 12- to 15-year-olds (p<0.01). In regards to gender differences, females were more likely to report that they had vomited than males, but this gender difference was only observed among the 12- to 15-year-olds.

Around 27% of current drinkers indicated that they had an argument and 18% indicated they had verbally abused someone after drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. Both of these negative drinking outcomes were more likely to be reported by current drinkers aged between 16 and 17 years, than their younger counterparts (p<0.01). Female current drinkers aged between 12 and 15 years were more likely to report having had an argument than males (p<0.01), but this gender difference was not observed in the older age group. Among current drinkers aged 16 to 17 years, more males reported to have verbally abused someone after drinking alcohol in the past 12 months than females (p<0.01).

Around 18% of all 12- to 17-year-old current drinkers indicated that they had used drugs after drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. This was more common among older current drinkers (22%) than younger drinkers (12%) (p<0.01). In regards to gender differences, more males reported to have tried drugs after drinking alcohol than females (p<0.01), but this gender difference was only observed among older students.

In total, 62% of all 12- to 17-year-old current drinkers reported to have experienced at least one of the negative outcomes after drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. The proportion of older current drinkers who reported to have experienced at least one of the negative outcomes was greater than the proportion of younger current drinkers (p<0.01). No gender differences were observed.

Table 4.13 shows the proportion and frequency by which current drinkers consume alcohol with the intention to get drunk, by gender and age.

Table 4.13: Percentage of current drinkers# indicating different frequencies of intending to get drunk when they consume alcohol, Australia,

12 to 15 years

Intention to get drunk
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
Never
35.0
33.6
34.3
A few times/Sometimes
37.8
42.6
40.0
Most times/everytime
27.2
23.8
25.7

16 to 17 years

Intention to get drunk
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
Never
12.5
17.4
14.9
A few times/Sometimes
39.3
40.7
40.0
Most times/everytime
48.2
41.9
45.1

Total

Intention to get drunk
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
Never
22.9
24.4
23.6
A few times/Sometimes
38.6
41.5
40.0
Most times/everytime
38.5
34.1
36.4

# Current drinkers: students who drank on any of the past seven days.

Around 36% of current drinkers reported that they intended to get drunk most or every time they consumed alcohol.

Among the older age group (16- and 17-year-olds), male current drinkers were more likely to report that they drank alcohol with the intention of getting drunk than female current drinkers (p<0.01).

Younger current drinkers were more likely to consume alcohol without intending to get drunk than older current drinkers (p<0.01).

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