Alcohol | Te Whatu Ora - Te Tai Tokerau


Alcohol is our most commonly used recreational drug in New Zealand. When used occasionally and in a responsible manner, causes little harm. However, for many people, excessive alcohol consumption can cause serious harm to both themselves and those around them.

Some Facts
  • New Zealanders spend approximately $85 million per week on retail alcohol sales.
  • About half of the drinkers under 25 years of age drink large quantities when they drink, as do about a quarter of all adult drinkers.
  • 1 out of 3 students reported binge drinking (5 or more standard drinks in a 4 hour period) in the past month
  • Alcohol is involved in around 1 out of every 3 crimes committed in New Zealand each year. It is a common factor in violent and sexual assaults (including family violence, child abuse and neglect, road crashes and other machinery accidents.
  • Alcohol contributes to more young people dying than any other drug. 
  • Alcohol is now recognised as a carcinogen (cancer causing) and is proven to raise the risk of cancers in the breast, mouth, throat, digestive system and liver.
Useful Tools, Links and Infomation
  • Concerned about someone's drinking? Worried about your drinking? Take the quiz to see how your drinking rates. 
  • Want to know more about current guidelines for safer drinking? Check out the low-risk alcohol drinking advice from ALAC
  • Experienced some issues with your drinking and thinking about making some changes. Check out Like a drink for more advice and support.   

[1] Ministry of Health Alcohol Use in New Zealand: Key Results of the 2007/08 New Zealand Alcohol and Drug Use Survey (Wellington, 2009) at 15–33 [Alcohol Use Survey 2007/08].

Need Help Now?

To talk to someone about your or someone else’s alcohol or other drug use, or for contacts of your local counsellor or treatment provider, phone the free (from mobile or landline) and confidential Alcohol Drug Helpline:

Ph: 0800 787 797 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Or visit Alcohol Drug Helpline

In an Emergency dial 111

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