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Drinking too much alcohol is associated with:
If a woman drinks alcohol when she is pregnant, the unborn child may be affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), the term used to describe the physical, behavioural, and learning problems caused by alcohol damage to the brain and other parts of the body of the unborn baby . The 2008 NATSISS found that 80% of mothers of Indigenous children aged 0-3 years did not drink during pregnancy, 16% drank less alcohol and only 3% drank the same amount or more alcohol during pregnancy .
Indigenous people are more likely to not drink alcohol (abstain) than non-Indigenous people but those who drink are more likely to drink at harmful levels . The 2012-2013 AATSIHS found 23% of Indigenous people had never consumed alcohol or had not done so for more than 12 months . Abstinence was 1.6 times more common among Indigenous peoples than non-Indigenous people; however the difference in abstinence is mostly due to those Indigenous people who used to drink and have given up.
Levels of short term/single occasion drinking risk (more than four standard drinks on a single occasion) were similar for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; around half of drinkers in 2012-2013, drank at levels exceeding the guidelines (52% compared with 45%) . However Indigenous people were 1.4 times more likely to drink at levels of 'high risk' of short-term harm as non-Indigenous people (37% compared with 27%).
Levels of long-term/lifetime drinking risk (more than two standard drinks per day) were similar for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. One-in-five drinkers aged 18 years and over in 2012-2013, drank at levels exceeding the 2009 guidelines for long-term/lifetime drinking risk . However, Indigenous people were 1.4 times more likely to drink at levels of 'high risk' of lifetime harm than non-Indigenous people. For the five year period 2006-2010 in NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT, approximately 3.4% of total Indigenous deaths were related to alcohol use, with the majority of these due to alcoholic liver disease .