Teens turn away from alcohol

Data released by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) shows the percentage of 14- to 17-year-olds who did not drink over the past 12 months jumped from 33% in 2001 to over 50% in 2010.

Rates of abstention declined sharply with age, with 73% of 14-year-olds classified as non-drinkers in 2010 compared to just under a third of 17-year-olds. However, rates of abstention in both age groups had increased significantly since 2001.

Lead researcher Dr Michael Livingston attributed the decline in part to Australia’s increasing