Top 7 tips for safe drinking

Drinking can be fun, let’s be honest. But too much alcohol can lead to injury, accidents, serious embarrassment and long-term health problems. Even drinking small amounts of alcohol increases your cancer risk.

1. Understand both how much alcohol you are having and how much you should have

Drinking can be part of a healthy lifestyle as long as you learn as much as you can about the effects of alcohol on the body

2. Eat before (and during) drinking sessions

Alcohol enters your bloodstream through your stomach and small intestine. If your stomach's empty when you start drinking, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream more quickly.

3. Count your drinks

It's easy to drink more than you realise. A standard drink is a can or bottle of mid-strength beer, 100ml of wine or a 30ml shot of spirits.

4. Slow your intake with alcohol-free drinks

The amount of alcohol in your blood (blood alcohol concentration, or BAC) influences how alcohol affects you. The higher your BAC, the more at risk you are of injury or overdose.

5. Skip the drinking games and shots

When you binge drink (drink more than 4 drinks in 1 session) and get drunk, you're more likely to get hurt, put yourself in a dangerous situation, embarrass yourself, or even suffer alcohol poisoning.

6. Don't drink and drive

It's against the law in Australia to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.05. Learner (L) and probationary (P) drivers must have a BAC of 0.00 (that's zero!).

7. 'Just say no' if you're...

Very young, pregnant, planning a pregnancy, breastfeeding, on meds or feeling depressed.

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