Alcohol is a drug that acts as a depressant and slows down the brain and nervous system. It is the most widely used drug in Australia.
Drinking a small amount is not harmful for most people, but excessive drinking on any one occasion can cause health, personal and social problems (NSW Health, from www.yourroom.com.au).
The Australian Alcohol Guidelines (2009) recommend:
- If you drink regularly, to stay healthy, drink no more than two standard drinks each day.
- On any single occasion, to stay healthy, drink no more than four standard drinks.
- Young people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol.
- The safest option for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother is not to drink alcohol.
Drinking less frequently, eg drinking weekly rather than daily, and drinking less on each occasion, reduces the lifetime risk of alcohol-related harm (NHMRC).
For more information, advice, campaigns and other resources about alcohol and other drugs, go to www.yourroom.com.au.
Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW operates 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide education, information, referral, crisis counselling and support. Call (02) 9361 8000 (Sydney metro) or 1800 422 599 (outside Sydney metro and interstate).