State of Play


Patterns of Alcohol Consumption in Australia

In the past twenty years, Australia has done much to educate the general population on the dangers and consequences of alcohol use.

And yet, in spite of wide-sweeping measures involving information, harm-reduction, the dangers of workplace related alcohol injury and accident, controlled drinking programs and education, the consumption of alcohol remains fairly steady and consistent over a five year period.  (From the period 2004-2009, there was in fact negligible change in alcohol consumption for the resident population, fifteen years and over.) Given this stasis, drug and alcohol testing remains a clear necessity in business and industry; perhaps even especially in those where union energy has remained steadfastly opposed or lacking in agreement.

Graph – APPARENT PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF PURE ALCOHOL



(a) Per capita estimates are based on the estimated resident population aged 15 years and over. [1]

The Australian Medical Association maintains there are a number of central factors that contribute to alcohol-related harms citing:

  • Social acceptability of hazardous alcohol use
  • The marketing and glamorization of alcohol (especially to young people)
  • The availability of alcohol (in terms of locality and time of day) including supermarkets and internet and corner stores
  • The price of alcohol – The lower the price, the greater the demand. The higher the price, the lower the demand.[2]

And so, in spite of the measures cited above, the short and long-term risks of alcohol consumption remain problematic for business and industry, with “almost one in ten Australians over 14 years of age in 2007 drinking at levels considered risky or high risk to health (ie.7 or more standard drinks on any one day for males and 5 or more standard drinks on any one day for females).[3]

CMM Technology offers a wide range of testing products that monitor the effects of alcohol, as well as other drugs in the workplace. In all, 26 CMM Technology testing products are available to aid business and organisations in the objective and accurate testing of employees across the board. These range from “short detection window” saliva testing products through to urinalysis and breathalyser equipment such as the top end Wall Mounted Breathalyser-Alcolizer.

Telephone CMM Technology now on 618-9204-2500 for more information on their wide range of accurate testing products and procedures.


[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4307.0.55.001 – Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2008-09

Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2010 sourced online: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4307.0.55.001/

[2]Alcohol Use and Harms in Australia (2009) – Information Paper. Australian Medical Association. http://ama.com.au/node/4762

[3] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2008, 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: Detailed findings, Drug Statistics Series No.20, Canberra: AIHW

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