While alcohol affects each of us differently, there are steps you can take to make sure you moderate your drinking.
Some of the simple things you can do include:
- Set yourself limits and stick to them;
- Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks;
- Drink slowly;
- Try drinks with a lower alcohol content;
- Have something to eat while or before you have an alcoholic drink ; and
- Dilute your alcoholic drink by adding water or ice.
Drinking responsibly is about drinking in moderation.
Making informed choices when it comes to drinking
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has developed short-term and long-term alcohol consumption guidelines (‘the guidelines) to assist individuals to make informed decisions about their drinking habits. It is important to remember that the Guidelines are general in nature and may need to be interpreted differently for certain individuals.
Please note, the NHMRC is currently undertaking a review of the guidelines. The draft guidelines can be accessed here. DrinkWise will update this page once the revised guidelines have been finalised. In the meantime, the current guidelines are outlined below.
Guideline 1: Reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime
The lifetime risk of harm from drinking alcohol increases with the amount consumed. For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury
Guideline 2: Reducing the risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking
On a single occasion of drinking, the risk of alcohol-related injury increases with the amount consumed. For healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.
Guideline 3: Children and young people under 18 years of age
For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. Parents and carers should be advised that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important. For young people aged 15−17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.
Guideline 4: Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby. For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.