Australian Government Department of Health
www.alcohol.gov.au
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Reduce your risk: new national guidelines for alcohol consumption

Brochure for adults, outlining alcohol guidelines 1 and 2

PDF printable version of Reduce your risk: new national guidelines for alcohol consumption (PDF 245 KB)

Please note that the ACT Alcohol and Drug Information Services phone number listed in this brochure is no longer in use. If you or someone you know needs support and treatment to reduce your alcohol intake, you should contact (02) 6207 9977.

New national guidelines for alcohol consumption have been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council to help you reduce your risk of harm from alcohol.

The guidelines are based on the most current and best available scientific research and evidence.

How much you drink is your choice, but the guidelines can help you make informed choices and help keep your risk of alcohol-related accidents, injuries, diseases and death, low - both in the short and long term.

What do I need to know?

Factors such as gender, age, mental health, drug use, and existing medical conditions can change how alcohol affects you. Responsible drinking is about balancing your enjoyment of alcohol with the potential risks and harm that may arise from drinking - especially if you go beyond low risk drinking levels.

What do the guidelines recommend?

  • For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard 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.

What are the health risks?

The health risks that accumulate over a lifetime from alcohol increase progressively - this means that the more you drink, the greater the risk.

Drinking alcohol can affect your liver or cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increases your risk of many cancers. It may also increase your risk of injury through road trauma, violence, falls and accidental death.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol.

It is important to note that drink serving sizes are often more than one standard drink. There are no common glass sizes used in Australia.

The label on an alcoholic drink container tells you the number of standard drinks in the container.

Tips to reduce the risk to your health when drinking

It is possible to drink at a level that is less risky, while still having fun. There are a number of things you can do to make sure you stay within low risk levels and don't get to a stage where you are no longer capable of controlling your drinking.

These include:
  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • Start with non-alcoholic drinks and alternate with alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Try drinks with a lower alcohol content
  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • If you participate in rounds of drinks try to include some non-alcoholic drinks

Support

If you or someone you know needs support and treatment to reduce your alcohol intake, you should contact:
  • Your doctor
  • Your local community health service
  • An alcohol or other drug helpline in your state/territory:
    ACT (02) 6207 9977
    NSW (02) 9361 8000 (Sydney),1800 422 599 (NSW country)
    NT (08) 8922 8399 (Darwin), (08) 8951 7580 (Central Australia), 1800 131 350 (Territory wide)
    Qld 1800 177 833
    SA 1300 131 340
    Tas 1800 811 994
    Vic 1800 888 236
    WA (08) 9442 5000 (Perth),1800 198 024 (WA country)
The advice in this brochure does not replace advice from your health care provider.

For more information about the new Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol please visit Alcohol website.

Standard drink guide

Beer

Glass
1.1
285ml
Full strength
4.8% alc. vol

Glass
1.6
425 ml
Full strength
4.8% alc.vol

Bottle
1.4
375ml
Full strength
4.8% alc.vol

Can
1.4
375ml
Full strength
4.8% alc. vol

Wine

Glass
1.4
150ml
Average restaurant serve of sparkling wine
12% alc. vol

Glass
1.6
150ml
Average restaurant serving of red wine
13.5% alc.vol

Glass
1.4
150ml
Average restaurant serving of white wine
11.5% alc.vol

Spirits

Bottle
1.2
330ml
Full strength
Ready-to-drink
5% alc. vol

Glass
1
30ml
High strength
Spirit nip
40% alc.vol

Can
1.5
375ml
Full strength
Pre-mix spirits
5% alc.vol