Alcohol and injury

Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of injury which can have a devastating effect on your life and those close to you. It can result in hospitalisation, and even death.

When people drink too much on one occasion it can cause alcohol-related accidents. Many problems are caused by drinking too much on one occasion, and these problems are preventable. These problems include injury, violence, burns and falls. Anti-social behaviour and problems can also occur with friends, family and third parties.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommend for healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion. 1

Evidence shows that as more alcohol is consumed on a single occasion, skills and inhibitions decrease while risky behaviour increases, leading to a greater risk of injury during, or immediately after that occasion. 1

Facts and Figures

A large range of injuries can occur when you drink alcohol. A large number of people in Western Australia are admitted to hospital for burns, falls, assaults and other injuries as a result of consuming too much alcohol on one occasion.

Did you know?

  • In 2018, approximately, 12,203 people in WA were hospitalised for injuries that were attributable to alcohol. This accounts for over 60% of alcohol-attributable hospitalisations in 2018. 2
  • The most common alcohol-attributable injuries were falls and motor vehicle accident injuries, making up 41% and 17% of short term harms respectively. 2
  • Other alcohol-attributable injuries contributing to hospitalisations in 2018 included: self-inflicted injuries, assaults and poisoning. 2
  • These harms resulted in a total of 70,115 bed-days with an estimated cost of approximately $109 million across the year. 2
  • There were approximately 284 deaths in 2017 in Western Australia as a result of alcohol-attributable injury on a single occasion use. 2
  • Self-inflicted injuries, moto vehicle accident injuries and falls accounted for the most amount of deaths attributable to alcohol in 2017. Self-inflicted injuries made up of 36% of alcohol-attributable deaths in 2017. 2
1

National Health and Medical Research Council, 2020. Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

2

Epidemiology Branch, Department of Health Western Australia. WA Hospital Morbidity and Mortality Data Systems (2008-2018), ABS Morbidity and Mortality Data (2008-2018). Retrieved on 22 November 2021

Page last updated: 26 November 2021

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