Why Aussies won't cut down their drinking in 2016

IT'S not health reasons that stop Aussies from drinking; it's social embarrassment.

The 2015 Global Drug Survey found two in five Australians would like to cut down on their drinking.

But studies show Australians were among the most likely to cite embarrassment or humiliation as the main reason for wanting to reduce their intake, with 32% saying they would change their behaviour.

About 5500 people a year die from alcohol-related injuries, illness and accidents and 157,000 a year are hospitalised because of alcohol.

The Australian Drug Foundation has launched a campaign encouraging people to take a break from alcohol. The #SoberSelfie Challenge encourages people to take selfies being booze-free and post them on social media. The campaign runs for this month.

"By sharing photos of the great experiences we are having while not drinking or hung over, we are forming a new digital picture of health and wellbeing," campaign manager Petra Keckeisen said.