Alcohol is the most widely used social drug in Australia. Many people enjoy an alcoholic drink socially, with a meal or to celebrate an important event.

It is important to distinguish between enjoyment of an occasional drink or two and excessive drinking.  Factors such as gender, age, mental health, drug use, and existing medical conditions can influence how alcohol affects you.

The Australian Guidelines for Alcohol Consumption recommends:

 - For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standards drinks on any day reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime.  

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

Heavy drinkers and binge drinkers risk serious alcohol-related harm. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may also affect your baby, it is recommended that alcohol not be consumed during pregnancy.

Further information

See here for more information on the following:

  • What is a standard drink? 
  • Alcohol consumption – healthy intake limits
  • Health effects of alcohol
  • Alcohol and pregnancy/breastfeeding

Also see the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • DrugInfo Tel. 1300 858 584 – for information
  • DirectLine Tel. 1800 888 236 – for counselling and referral
  • Family Drug Help – for information and support for people concerned about a relative or friend using drugs Tel. 1300 660 068

Image reproduced with permission, Australian Drug Foundation 2014 (in brochures).