Drug and Alcohol Review; 04 December 2023

Kerri CoomberRyan BaldwinNicholas TaylorSarah CallinanClaire WilkinsonJohn W. ToumbourouTanya ChikritzhsPeter G. Miller



Variation in alcohol availability is an important driver of levels of consumption and harm, with recent increases in online alcohol home delivery use expanding availability. There is limited research on the impacts of these changes and the characteristics of consumers who use alcohol home delivery.


This study presents findings from an online survey (n = 465) of Western Australian adults who had purchased alcohol for home delivery within the past 6 months. Analyses compared high-risk and low-risk drinkers on use of, and exposure to, alcohol home delivery.


Compared to low-risk drinkers, high-risk drinkers were significantly more likely to make more frequent online purchases (odds ratio 5.42), utilise same day delivery (odds ratio 2.91) and purchase through specialised online-only retailers (odds ratio 2.69). High-risk drinkers also reported receiving deliveries while intoxicated more often (odds ratio 11.62), and ordering alcohol for delivery to continue a current drinking session (odds ratio 7.47). High-risk drinkers also received advertising for alcohol home delivery more frequently (odds ratio 1.60) than low-risk drinkers. High-risk drinkers also ordered larger quantities of alcohol than low-risk drinkers (M = 49 vs. 32 standard drinks).

Discussion and Conclusions

Findings from this study indicate that these services are popular with high-risk drinkers and potentially undermine other policy efforts to reduce drinking. Within Australia, stronger legislation (such as mandatory delay between order and delivery) and monitoring (e.g., test purchasing for compliance) are recommended.


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