Unfortunately, there is no safe level of drinking. Having an idea of the Australian alcohol guidelines means you can understand the impact and reduce the risks of drinking. Knowing the facts means you can choose what is best for you when it comes to alcohol.
Since COVID-19 started, some of us have reported drinking a bit more than before. It might not seem like much, but even small changes can become harder to shift over time. Here are some things to keep in mind as you rethink your drinking.
The Guidelines for Healthier Australians
While there is no safe level of drinking, the guidelines provide a framework for how to stay healthy and protect you and your family from alcohol harms.
The guidelines recommend that:
- To reduce your risk of cancer, drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week.
- Have no more than 4 standard drinks in one day to reduce your risk of injury and accidents.
- Anyone under 18 should not drink alcohol to help prevent negative impacts on the developing brain and riskier levels of drinking when they are older.
- Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol to reduce harm to their unborn child.
- Women who are breastfeeding should avoid drinking alcohol as it is safest for the health and development of their baby.
A standard drink is a drink that contains 10 grams of pure alcohol. Check this quick guide to compare the alcohol content of different drinks and how many standards drinks are in one glass:
When zero is the limit
Not drinking is the safest option for:
For anyone aged under 18, no alcohol is the safest option. Drinking alcohol may impact cognitive development and lead to health issues later in life. Young people are also at greater risk of developing alcohol dependence if they are introduced to alcohol too early.
Zero is the recommended limit if you are involved in, or supervising, risky activities including driving or operating machinery.
If you are supervising young people, it is recommended that you do not drink alcohol.
You should get advice from your doctor about drinking if you:
You may have an increased risk of harm if you: