Let’s face it, drinking can be fun. Too much alcohol can cause injury, accidents, embarrassment, and long-term health problems. Even small amounts of alcohol can increase your cancer risk.
These are the best ways to ensure safe drinking.
1. Know how much alcohol you’re drinking and how much you should be drinking
You can drink as part of a healthy lifestyle if you are educated about the health effects of alcohol and adhere to the Australian Guidelines.
To reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury or disease, the Australian Guidelines recommend that healthy adults limit their intake to no more than 10 standard beverages per week and no more 4 standard drinks per day.
A standard drink has about 10 grams of alcohol (alcohol). This is the maximum amount your body can absorb in one hour. The amount of alcohol you can consume depends on your age and gender, as well as how you feel at that time.
Your risk of injury, accident or hangover can be increased if you drink more than your recommended daily intake. You are also at greater risk for developing long-term chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and liver disease.
Find out more about alcohol’s effects on your health.
2. Before and during drinking sessions, eat
Your stomach and small intestine are where alcohol enters your bloodstream. Your bloodstream will be more rapid if your stomach is empty before you begin drinking.
It’s a good idea not to eat while you drink. Mixing food and alcohol can help you get the most out of it.
- Get plenty of water.
- Do not mix alcohol with energy or sugary drinks.
- Salty snacks should be avoided. They will make you thirsty, and cause you to drink more.
3. Count your drinks
It is easy to drink more than what you realize. A standard drink is a can of or bottle of medium-strength beer or wine, 100ml wine, or 30ml shot liquor. Bars and restaurants may serve more than one standard drink.
Stick to your drink limit. Avoid drinking with your friends, especially if you drink too much. Instead of refilling your glass, finish your drink.
Drinkwise’s Standard drink calculator can help you determine how much you’re drinking
4. Reduce your alcohol intake by drinking alcohol-free beverages
How alcohol affects you will depend on how much alcohol is in your blood (blood alcohol content, or BAC). Your BAC is a measure of your risk for injury or overdose.
The body can only consume 1 standard drink an hour. Your BAC will rise the faster you drink.
Keep your drinking levels at a safe level by only having one drink an hour. This can be done by:
- Non-alcoholic beverages can be enjoyed as well as alcoholic beverages
- Drink water to quench your thirst, before you start drinking alcohol
- opting for low-alcohol drinks
- Sip instead of gulping
5. Avoid drinking and shot-taking
You are more likely to be drunk and binge drink (binge on more than four drinks at once) and you will get hurt more easily.
Avoid drinking shots, skolling races, or any other activity that can get you high quickly. Instead, play pool, dance, or discuss reality TV. You can do anything, but you must keep up with your friends.
Mixing alcohol with energy drinks can cause you to drink more. If you have taken any other medications or drugs, be careful how much you drink.
Drink Wise has a video that shows you how to properly drink.
6. Drink and drive
Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.05 is against the law in Australia. Probationary (P) and learner drivers (L) must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.00. ).
There is no safe amount of alcohol for driving. You are more likely to get into an accident on the road if you drink more than you should.
Instead of driving drunk:
- Before you leave for work, plan how you will get home.
- Discuss with friends who will be the designated driver.
- Reserve enough money to pay for your taxi ride home.
- Public transport is a good option.
7. If you are…
Very young, pregnant, nursing, taking meds, or feeling depressed.
Some people may find drinking alcohol more dangerous than others. Children and young adults under 18 years old should not consume alcohol.
It’s safer for your baby to not drink if you are pregnant or nursing.
You should also avoid alcohol if your taking any recreational or medication drugs. They can cause an adverse effect when combined with alcohol. It’s also a bad idea to drink if you are feeling depressed as alcohol can make it worse.