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Drinking Responsibly

Most people like a drink from to time, whether it's hanging out with your mates, at the footy, or a cold beer in front of the telly. A drink or two can help you unwind, and there is some evidence that moderate alcohol consumption can even have some health benefits. However, excessive drinking can not only harm your health, but cause a lot of damage to your relationships. You don t need to be an alcoholic for alcohol to have a negative impact on those around you. It only takes one stupid action while drunk to cause a lot of harm.

According to current safe drinking guidelines, a man should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce alcohol related health risks over a lifetime, and no more than four standard drinks in any one session in order to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury from that occasion.

A standard drink contains 10ml of alcohol, which is equivalent to:

  • A glass (not a pot) of full-strength beer
  • A shot of spirits
  • A small glass of wine — standard restaurant serves of wine typically contain about 1.5-1.8 standard drinks

These safe consumption guidelines are not absolute. People of lower body weight will be more affected by alcohol and need to drink less. Also, if you are driving and you drink the safe amount in a short time, you will almost certainly be above the legal limit. The recommended amounts only tell you what is currently believed to be a safe amount to drink for your health in the long term, not what is safe in any given situation.

Think about the answers to the following questions.

  • How often are you drinking?
  • Do you ever drink alone?
  • Do you drink at home, at the pub or both?
  • Do you ever drink to the point where you can t remember what happened?
  • Would you describe either of your parents as a problem drinker? (It increases your risk)
  • Do you think your behaviour changes when you are drinking?
  • Do you feel you need to drink?
  • Do you know how your partner/family feels about your drinking?
  • Have you ever spoken with your partner/family about this?
  • Have you ever had to apologise to your partner/family after a drinking session?

Alcohol can have serious effects on your relationships. It can hurt the people you most care about if your alcohol consumption is not managed properly. Alcohol is a depressant drug which can affect your ability to think clearly and make sound judgements.

If you are worried about your drinking and how it may be affecting those around you, talk to someone.

MensLine Australia is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with professional counsellors able to assist you with any concerns you may be having. Counselling is confidential and anonymous.

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