low risk alcohol consumption
For many people, consuming alcohol is a routine part of life.
Yet too much alcohol can contribute to liver and heart conditions, many cancers, depression, and even negatively affect relationships. Too much alcohol can also contribute to increased blood cholesterol (fats), increased blood pressure, weight gain and poor sleep. It’s even the cause of some preventable deaths.
Aside from your health, it can affect how you think, feel, and behave.
Benefits of reducing alcohol consumption
- Improved sleep quality and energy levels
- Improved physical health such as reducing your blood pressure
- Reduce the long-term risk of developing conditions like heart disease or cirrhosis
- Improved mental health such as improved mood and feeling less stressed
- Reducing and maintaining a healthy weight
- Quality time with family and friends
- Saving money!
Australian alcohol guidelines: reducing health risks
The Australian Alcohol Guidelines provide recommendations for safe alcohol consumption. These are important if you are already at risk of chronic disease. The lifetime risk of harm from drinking alcohol increases with the amount consumed.
The Australian Alcohol Guidelines advise:
Healthy men and women: To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. The less you choose to drink, the lower your risk of alcohol-related harm. For some people, not drinking at all is the safest option.
- Children and young people: To reduce the risk of injury and other harms to health, children and young people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: To reduce the risk of harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.
Want to know how much a standard drink is? Check out the interactive standard drink calculator.
Want more information and support?
Your GP will be a great support for connecting and referring you to the appropriate professionals.
Speak to a psychologist if you think your drinking might be impacted by something happening in your life. Search for a psychologist at psychology.org.au.
Alcoholics Anonymous provides support groups and information (aa.org.au) and Beyond Blue provides a telephone counselling service, call 1300 22 4636. Lifeline provides crisis support and a suicide-prevention service, call 13 11 14.