Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Alcohol injuries

1-minute read

Many Australians drink some alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is a major cause of road and other accidents, violence, crime, liver injury and brain damage. Even drinking small amounts of alcohol increases your cancer risk.

According to the National Drug Household Survey in 2019:

  • About 1 in 5 alcohol drinkers aged 14 or older had put themselves or others at risk of injury or harm while drinking in the previous 12 months.
  • Over 1 in 5 Australians aged 14 or older had been a victim of an alcohol related incident in 2019. This included many types of abuse, including verbal or physical abuse.
  • Adults aged 18-24 were more likely to binge drink than the rest of the population. Men were more likely to binge drink than women.

1 in 4 people drink at a risky level on a single occasion at least once a month. (More than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion.)

Follow the links below to find trusted information about the health effects of alcohol use and injuries resulting from alcohol use.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2020


Back To Top

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Alcohol & Drug Related Brain Injury - Synapse

Alcohol can cause physical injury to the brain. This is known as Alcohol Related Brain Injury. Other drugs can also lead to impairments.

Read more on Synapse - Australia's Brain Injury Organisation website

Alcohol related thiamine deficiency - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Wernicke –Korsakoff’s syndrome is a form of serious brain injury resulting from a lack of thiamine that most commonly occurs in alcohol-dependent people

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Guidelines for low-risk drinking - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Australians use alcohol to celebrate, commiserate, relax and have fun. However, alcohol is a significant cause of injury and ill health, violence, crime, family breakdown, road accidents, loss of productivity in workplaces and death in Australia.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Alcohol: The health, social, and financial burden | myVMC

Various cultures may have very different attitudes, beliefs, norms and expectancies about drinking and this is reflected in the behaviours of their drinkers. In Western societies, beliefs about alcohol are inconsistent and sometimes negative and therefore alcohol is associated with problems such as anti-social and violent behaviour. That said, alcohol-related problems are associated with excessive drinking in any culture. In general, the majority of people consume alcohol in moderation.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Drink / Drug driving | National Centre for Farmer Health

Drink driving is a significant cause of death and permanent injury. You might think that the risk of being ‘caught’ drinking and driving is less in country areas.  You also might think that you are okay to drive after a few drinks, but you are wrong. Read more...

Read more on National Centre for Farmer Health website

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder - NT.GOV.AU

Diagnosis, symptoms and treatment of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Read more on NT Health website

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - Synapse

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) refers to a range of impairments that children are at risk of developing if exposed to alcohol before birth.

Read more on Synapse - Australia's Brain Injury Organisation website

Alcohol related dementia | Dementia Australia

What is alcohol related dementia? Alcohol related dementia, as the name suggests, is a form of dementia related to the excessive drinking of alcohol. This affects memory, learning and other mental functions. Korsakoff’s syndrome and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are particular forms of alcohol related brain injury which may be related to alcohol related dementia.

Read more on Dementia Australia website

Alcohol Avoidance - BluePages

Find out if avoiding alcohol is likely to help.

Read more on e-hub Web Services - Australian National University (ANU) website

FASD information for parents, carers and families | FASD Hub

Information for individuals and families living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in Australia

Read more on FASD Hub website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo