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24 May. 2024

Seven-years of alcohol consumption in Australia by wastewater analysis: Exploring patterns by remoteness and socioeconomic factors

The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program provides analysis of wastewater samples collected from areas that cover over 50% of the Australian population. It includes samples from most degrees of remoteness and socioeconomic status ranges. This study used wastewater data from 2016 to 2023 to assess for differences and trends in alcohol consumption by degree of remoteness and socioeconomic indicators across Australia. 

Steeper declines in Australian alcohol consumption were found in large urban areas than regional and remote locations. There were smaller annual decreases in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. The authors suggest that if continued, these trends may increase Australian health inequalities and that policy and prevention work should be appropriately targeted to produce more equitable long-term outcomes.

Read the full paper here