17 Apr 2013

Fewer people drinking alcohol

1:58 pm on 17 April 2013

A new Health Ministry survey shows fewer people are drinking alcohol.

The national survey shows the number of drinkers fell from 84% of the adult population in 2006-07 to 80% in 2011-12.

Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne said the drop was encouraging, but the survey results revealed several other issues.

In particular, he said, one in five people reported a hazardous drinking pattern, which the ministry defined as one that put the drinker at risk of physical or mental harm.

Drinkers aged between 18 and 24 were the most at risk, with one in four women of that age group reporting hazardous drinking.

Over all age groups, the survey showed the number of women drinking dangerously remained relatively unchanged.

Mr Dunne said that was an area where policy should focus in the future.