Alcohol consumption and mental health conditions: Insights from a South Australian population survey to inform policy and practice

Tara Guckel, Caroline L. Miller, Marie Longo, Richard Cooke, Jacqueline A. Bowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Among individuals with a mental health condition co-occurring alcohol use disorders are common, but less is known about alcohol consumption in excess of recommended drinking guidelines. This study investigated the prevalence of lifetime risky drinking (>2 drinks daily) and single occasion risky drinking (>4 drinks on one occasion) among individuals with mental health conditions of different severities. Methods: Data from representative cross-sectional population surveys among South Australians aged ≥15 years (n=11,761) were utilised. Logistic regression models assessed associations between risky alcohol consumption, presence of a mental health condition and demographic characteristics. Results: Prevalence of lifetime risky drinking was greater among both males and females with a mental health condition (p>0.001). Single occasion risky drinking was more prevalent among males with a severe mental health condition (p=0.01). Adjusted logistic regressions showed that only females with a mental health condition had greater odds of exceeding lifetime risky drinking levels (OR=1.39, CI 1.11 to1.75). Conclusions: There are sex-specific relationships between risky alcohol consumption and mental health conditions. Implications for public health: Risky alcohol consumption, in excess of guidelines, is of concern among those with a mental health condition and requires attention at an individual and population level.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • alcohol
  • mental health disorder
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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