In 2020, Australia got drunk more often than any other country in the world

There is no denying Australians love a coldie. A new survey has backed this up, throwing us on the drinking throne – for better or worse.

The figures, released as part of the 2021 Global Drug Survey, revealed that Aussies got more drunk more often than any other country in the year 2020.

The results, brewed from more than 22 countries and 32,000 participants, revealed that on average Australians got drunk 27 times in 2020, compared to the global average of 15.

Drunkest country
Photo: Inside Hook

Trans, non-binary, or intersex citizens took the top spot, getting drunk an average of 35 times a year. Men were drunk 30 times on average and women 21 times, with women more likely to regret their drunken episodes.

Which, unfortunately, does reveal a dark side to this claim that many Australians would likely be proud of. Another study conducted before the pandemic claimed that alcohol, rather than illegal drugs including methamphetamine and heroin, causes more harm to Australians than any other narcotic.

When combined with the fact that Australians who are more often discriminated against were those drinking the most, it paints a potentially ugly picture of a country with a vice it can’t shake.

Leader of the study, Dr Monica Barratt of RMIT university, revealed that the survey strongly indicated a surge in drinking during the pandemic. Which, yeah, checks out.

We have been praised for the management and treatment of COVID-19, however it seems another kind of Corona has us coming unstuck.

Drunkest country
Source: Global Drug Survey

“This may have something to do with us being the highest ranked country for frequency of getting drunk,” Barratt said.

“Although we can also see drinking cultures play a role, with Nordic, Britishm and North American nations also reporting relative high frequencies of drunken episodes.”

Aussies drank a similar number of days per week to the global average, but when asked about getting “seriously sloshed”, the truth was revealed.

“When we asked people how often they got drunk – so seriously drunk, slurring their words, couldn’t really talk straight, etc – Australians really topped that chart,” Barratt later said.

In contrast to these stats was a decrease in illegal drug use over the year, likely a result of the pandemics restrictions and the effects they had on the importation of illegal drugs.

Whatever your substance of choice, or the substance of choice of those closest to you, make sure you’re engaging with it in a safe manner. Not everything needs to be a competition, mates, especially drinking.


If you or anyone you know is experiencing an issue related to substance abuse, call the Alcohol and Drug Support Line on (08) 9442 5000.

A list of resources and information about the identification, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse can be found here