Cutting back on drinking: In Fact

Cutting back on drinking. [In Fact] (pdf)
01 Jan 2015

In 2013/14, one in five (20%) New Zealanders aged 15 years or more who drank alcohol in the past year reported a potentially hazardous alcohol consumption pattern. This fact sheet looks at the extent to which New Zealand adults are considering changing their alcohol consumption and actively seeking information and support to help them do so.


The 2013 Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey (ABAS 2013) included questions about changes in drinking patterns and whether those people who drank alcohol had considered cutting back during the past year.

Responses to these questions by adult respondents (age 18 years and over, who reported drinking alcohol during the previous month, n=2,179) were compared by gender, ethnicity, age and risky drinking behaviour. Statistically significant differences (p < .05) between groups are reported.

Key Results

• Younger people are more likely to report a recent increase in the amount of alcohol they drink.

• While nearly one-third of recent drinkers had thought about cutting back on their drinking, a much smaller proportion had actively sought information or advice on how to do this.

• People who reported recent risky drinking were more likely to consider cutting back and to look for information about cutting back, compared with those who drank more lightly.

• Many of the demographic differences in information-seeking and consideration of cutting back on drinking were explained by drinking behaviour, which was the more relevant factor.

• Regardless of their personal pattern of alcohol consumption, younger adults and Māori were more likely to have been given advice or information about cutting back on drinking. 

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018