Australians are either the drunkest people in the world or the people most likely to be honest about how often they get drunk, according to the latest Global Drug Survey. The survey of 32,000 people in 22 countries found that while Australians drank alcohol around twice a week on average, they became drunk 27 times a year, more than people in any other country surveyed, Guardian reports. The survey defined drunk as "having drunk so much that your physical and mental faculties are impaired to the point where your balance/speech was affected" and "your conversation and behaviors were very obviously different to people who know you." The US is the fourth-drunkest country in the world, according to the survey, behind Denmark and Finland but just ahead of the UK.
Caterina Giorgi at the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, an Australian nonprofit, said the findings suggest people are "drinking at fairly risky levels." She noted that Australia also came first in the number of times people reported seeking emergency medical treatment after alcohol use. The survey found that respondents from Ireland got drunk an average of 14.6 times a year, but were the most likely to regret getting drunk, the Journal reports. They regretted getting drunk 28.4% of the time, while those from Denmark and Finland had the least regrets, at 17% each.
Data for the latest report was collected between December 2020 and March 2021. The previous year's survey was carried out before COVID lockdowns began, and researchers said use of alcohol and almost every other drug in the survey declined year-over-year, Stuff.co.nz reports. Some of the steepest declines were in cigarette smoking and cocaine use. The researchers also found that the pandemic had caused changes in behavior, with a 42% drop in the proportion of cannabis users who shared joints or bongs. (Read more alcohol stories.)