Drinking in Australia

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Trends in Underage Drinking

As children age the risk of alcohol use increases dramatically and by 16-years of age most have consumed alcohol within the last 30 days (Figure 1; Rowland et al., 2014).

Percentage of school-aged children in the state of Victoria who consumed alcohol within the last 30 days (adapted from Rowland et al., 2014).

Dangers of Underage Risky Drinking

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2011) has defined risky drinking as the consumption of large amounts of alcohol within a short period of time (p. 75). The risks associated with risky drinking include damage to the gut and brain, cancer, psychological problems, physical injury, unsafe sex, illicit drug use, addiction, and legal problems.

Risk Factors

Pitkanen (2006) reviewed the research literature concerning risk factors for underage drinking and found that most fit into two categories: (1) Family and (2) socio-emotional...
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