What is Alcohol

Alcohol is a drug, and like all drugs, alcohol affects the way your body works as it can be toxic and addictive.  Although after drinking a small amount alcohol may make you feel happy or more relaxed, it’s actually a depressant, meaning it slows down the messages that travel between your brain and body and can affect the way you think, feel and behave. 

How Much Alcohol Is Safe to Drink?

Alcohol is never completely safe and affects everyone.  The more you drink the greater the risk to your health.

Effects of Alcohol

There are short and long-term effects, in the short term drinking too much alcohol can lead to: 

  • Unprotected or unwanted sex 
  • Accidental injury (to yourself and others) 
  • Alcohol poisoning 
  • Hangovers 

For more information on short term effects please visit:   

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/How-alcohol-affects-your-body#lp-h-2 

Drinking more than 2 standard drinks a day can seriously affect your health over your lifetime.  Long Term effects can include: 

  • Mental health issues 
  • Increased risk of diabetes and weight gain 
  • Impotence and other problems with sexual performance 
  • Fertility issues 
  • Cancers 
  • Cirrhosis of the liver and liver failure. 

For further information on particular long-term effects please visit: 

https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/drug-induced-sexual-dysfunction-in-men-and-women 

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/cirrhosis-of-the-liver 

https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/ 

https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/cancer-prevention/alcohol/alcohol-and-cancer/ 

What are Standard Drinks?

Drinks come in different sizes and some are stronger than others. Standard drinks are a way to measure how much alcohol you drink; a standard drink is always equal to 10g of alcohol.   

To find out the approximate number of standard drinks you are having you can visit: 

http://www.drinkthing.tas.gov.au/calculator 

https://yourroom.health.nsw.gov.au/games-and-tools/pages/standard-drink-calculator.aspx 

Need Help to Reduce or Quit Alcohol? 

If you are concerned you are drinking too much you should: 

  • Consult your doctor; they can help you to manage any withdrawal symptoms you may have. 
  • Knowing the benefits is key to staying motivated 
  • Work on a plan; this should include goals and triggers 
  • Develop a support network 

Useful Links and Contacts 

If you are concerned about your drinking or that of a family member or friend there are many organisations, websites and services that offer alcohol support, counselling, and information: 

Alcoholics anonymous (AA) Australia 

https://aa.org.au/ 

1300 222 222 

DirectLine 

https://www.directline.org.au/ 

1800 888 236 

Drug Aware  

Country WA  1800 198 024 

City WA  08 9442 5000 

https://drugaware.com.au 

eheadspace 

https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/ 

1800 650 890 

Family Drug Support 

http://fds.org.au/ 

1300 368 186 

Health Direct 

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/ 

1800 022 222 

National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline 

1800 250 015 

Pregnant Pause 

http://www.pregnantpause.com.au/