February 16, 2017
Australians use alcohol to celebrate, commiserate, relax and have fun. However, many are unaware of the harmful impacts that excessive drinking can cause: from family violence to road trauma and other injuries.
So while many of us are aware of the amounts of alcohol we can consume and still remain under the legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) when driving, many of us are not so clear on the amount of alcohol we can consume before our drinking starts seriously impacting our health.
While there is no safe level of drinking, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has developed some guidelines to help us understand the impact of drinking on our health, wellbeing and safety.
Harm: the undesirable impacts of drinking alcohol.
Immediate and short-term harms related to drinking alcohol may include hangovers, headaches, nausea, shakiness, vomiting, memory loss, falls and injury, assaults, car accidents, unplanned pregnancy and accidental death.
The NHMRC has guidelines on the drinking of alcohol, but these are only a general guide. Everyone’s situation is different.
Remember, there is no safe level of drinking.
You should drink no more than 2 standard drinks on any given day.
The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of injury or disease over the course of your life. If you drink less than 2 standard drinks per day, your risk of dying from an alcohol-related injury is less than 1 in 100. The more you drink, the greater your risk.
You should drink no more than 4 standard drinks on any one occasion.
The more alcohol you drink in a single session, the greater the risk of you being injured. Drinking 4 standard drinks more than doubles your risk of injury in the following 6 hours. For every drink you have after that, you put yourself in more danger.
For young people under 18 years of age, abstaining from alcohol is the safest option.
If you are pregnant, are planning a pregnancy, or are breastfeeding, avoiding alcohol is the safest option.
Not drinking is the safest option if you are:
You should get advice from your doctor about drinking if:
You may have an increased risk of harm if you: