Alcohol is widely used and enjoyed by many Australians, but factors including your gender, age, mental health, drug use and existing medical conditions, can change how alcohol affects you.

A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol

Alcohol can affect your liver or cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increases the risk of many cancers.

Responsible drinking is about balance – and it is possible to drink at a level that is less risky and still have fun.

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Alcohol safety

Due to the different ways that alcohol can affect people,there is no amount of alcohol that can be said to be safe for everyone.

How much you drink is your choice, but the national guidelines can help you make informed choices and help keep your risk of alcohol-related accidents, injuries, diseases and death as low as possible.

Drinking alcohol can affect your liver or cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increases your risk of many cancers. It may also increase your risk of injury through road trauma, violence, falls and accidental death.

A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol

It is recommended that healthy men and women drink no more than 2 standard drinks on any day to reduce the harm from alcohol related diseases or injury over a lifetime.

Drinking no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol related disease or injury arising from that occasion.

There are a number of things you can do to make sure you stay within low risk levels and don't get to a stage where you are no longer capable of controlling your drinking.

A Few Tips
  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • Start with non-alcoholic drinks and alternate with alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Try drinks with a lower alcohol content
  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • If you participate in rounds of drinks try to include some non-alcoholic drinks
Young people

There are many good reasons to encourage your teenager not to drink alcohol before turning 18.

Early drinking is related to increased alcohol consumption in adolescence and young adulthood and the possibility of damage to the developing brain and development of alcohol related harms in adulthood.

Young people who drink are more prone to risky and antisocial behaviour than older drinkers. The risk of accidents, injuries, violence and self-harm are high among drinkers aged under 18.

Tips for parents
  • Set a good example in your own consumption of alcohol
  • Parents can't keep an eye on their teenagers all of the time, yet can encourage responsible use of alcohol
  • Talk to your teenager about alcohol laws and the potential consequences for breaking them
  • Reward good behaviour if they show a responsible attitude towards alcohol
  • Talk to your teenager about how to deal with peer pressure about alcohol or binge drinking
Take home message

Quite clearly, heavy drinking is not good for your health. If you regularly drink more than two drinks a day or you drink every day, and you can’t say “No”, it is likely you have a problem.