The survey, conducted on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, examines the amount people drink, when, where and what they drink and who they drink with.
It also examines how drinking behaviours vary across different sections of the public, the proportion of people who binge drink, problem drinking, and perceptions of drinking.
- More than seven out of ten (74%) adults drink alcohol.
- A larger proportion of males (78%) than females (72%) drink alcohol.
- Younger adults (18-29 years) are more likely to drink than older adults (60-75 years).
Frequency of Drinking:
- Around half (52%) of drinkers reported drinking alcohol at least once a week or more frequently (6% of respondents reported drinking on an almost daily basis).
- A greater proportion of male respondents (8%) compared to females (5%) reported drinking alcohol daily or on most days.
The following results are based on those respondents who drank alcohol in the week prior to the survey.
Days on which drinking occurs:
- Most drinking occurs over the weekend and peaks on Saturdays.
Type of drinks consumed:
- The most common drinks consumed were wine (48%) and beer (47%).
Where and with whom people drink:
- Most of those who drank in the week prior to the survey had either consumed alcohol at home (64%), in the pub (20%) or at someone else’s home (20%).
Recommended daily drinking limits:
- Around eight in ten respondents (78%) reported having reached or exceeded the recommended daily limit for drinking on at least one occasion in the week prior to the survey.
- 18% of male drinkers reached or exceeded the recommended daily limits on three or more days that week, compared to 16% of female drinkers.
- The recommended daily limits are exceeded most often on a Saturday (53% of drinkers) and on a Friday (31% of drinkers).
Weekly guidelines for sensible drinking:
- More females (80%) compared to males (74%) stayed within the weekly guidelines for sensible drinking limits.
- Three in ten (30%) of those who drank in the week before the survey had engaged in at least one binge drinking session.
- Males (35%) are more likely than females (25%) to binge drink.
- Half (50%) of respondents in the youngest age group (18-29) who drank in the week prior to the survey had engaged in at least one binge drinking session compared to 13% of respondents in the oldest age group (60-75).
- CAGE question analysis (clinical interview questions) indicated that one in ten (9%) of those who drank in the week prior to the survey are likely to have a problem with alcohol.
- Six in ten (61%) of those who consumed alcohol in the week prior to the survey consider themselves to be light drinkers.
- Just over one third (36%) consider themselves to be moderate drinkers and 3% consider themselves to be heavy drinkers.
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