A lot of people vilify alcohol because of the alcohol fuelled problems we see and read about every day in the news but the truth is alcohol is valuable to society for many reasons. Beside the social benefits (alcohol helps people unwind, relax, distress and socialize better), it boosts the economy and provides countless numbers of people with employment however like every good thing there is always room for abuse.
There are some people who use alcohol to cope with their problems, others have addictive personalities and others are influenced into dangerous drinking habits by peer pressure and social circumstances, the problem is not alcohol but people’s unhealthy approach to alcohol.
This is one of the reasons why the Australian government implemented Responsible Service of Alcohol legislature, to negate the negative impact of drinking on society by controlling the sale of alcohol.
Drinkers need to ensure that they keep their drinking habits under control, these are some of the guidelines for safe drinking
There is no level of drinking alcohol that can be guaranteed to be completely ‘safe’ or ‘have no risk’ because everyone’s makeup is different, therefore everyone’s tolerance levels will also differ. Alcohols effect on a person is affected by a myriad of things such as weight, gender and tolerance to alcohol. However, this checklist advises on how healthy adults can minimise the risk of short and long-term harms.
ü Drink no more than two standard drinks on any day, this reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury. Or drink no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion, this reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion
ü Ensure you have safe transport home even before you begin drinking
ü For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding it is recommended that you abstain from alcohol completely because we do not know what a safe amount is.
ü People under 18 years of age also should not drink alcohol at all – it is the law.
ü According to FARE (Foundation for alcohol research and education), parents and carers should be advised that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important.
ü Have you taken any drugs, illicit or prescription? If so it’s best to steer clear of alcohol because you cannot be sure of the reaction that will occur when you combine the two – it could be life-threatening, directly (the reaction of chemicals could be toxic to the body) or indirectly (you could become extremely drunk and place your life in danger by drink driving etc.)
ü Assess your motive for drinking. Why are you drinking? If it is to get drunk then abstain from alcohol because you could be developing a problem.
ü Are you aware of the number of standard drinks you should consume based on your gender and the daily recommended amount? Also do you know how many standard drinks are contained in your favourite drinks? If not familiarise yourself with this to ensure you are not drinking too much.
Keep this checklist in mind and a night out need not turn into an alcohol fuelled tragedy.