This is the first report of the National Alcohol Indicators Project (NAIP). The aim of NAIP is to monitor and report on trends in alcohol-related and alcohol-caused harm in Australia, at national, state and local levels. The NAIP is a collaborative project between the National Drug Research Institute (Curtin University of Technology) and Turning Point, Alcohol and Drug Centre Inc. The NAIP is funded by the National Drug Strategy.
This report estimates the burden of alcohol misuse (hazardous/harmful levels as defined by Pols & Hawks in the 1992 NHMRC guidelines) in terms of morbidity and mortality on the 1997 Australian population and documents the trend in deaths and hospitalisations between 1990 and 1997. Patterns across different geographic regions of the country were also examined. Major variables under consideration included the age and sex of the persons dying or being hospitalised as well as their Indigenous status.
Alcohol is a leading cause of death, injury and illness in Australian society. For 1992, the annual cost of alcohol-caused problems to the nation was conservatively estimated at over $4.5 billion Ð about 2.6 times the cost for illicit drugs (Collins and Lapsley, 1996). Higgins et al. (2000) estimated that in 1997 the total number of deaths due to illegal drug use in Australia was 832, while the number of deaths due to tobacco use was 18,224.
This technical report accompanies the NAIP Bulletin No. 1, detailing the methods employed and providing additional results. Future bulletins and technical reports will report on; alcohol-related road injury, violence, per capita alcohol consumption and levels of high-risk alcohol consumption in the community.