It does appear that alcohol consumption in Australia has increased with the impacts of COVID.
This can be understood in a number of ways: stress management, boredom, isolation.
Whatever the reason, I think it is fair to say humans have a complex relationship with alcohol 🍺 🍷
“Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia. About 8 in 10 Australian adults drink alcohol. People drink alcohol for a wide range of reasons and in different social and cultural contexts.”
Yet alcohol can cause significant harm to the drinker and the people around them.
- increased cancer risk
- increased accident risk
- increased mental ill health risk
Thus it is important that we stay informed about ‘safe’ levels of drinking. To date, in Australia, this has been the role of the NHMRC who have published guidelines on alcohol intake (and publish health advice on a range of topics).
They recently updated their guidelines.
For adults, the guidelines are best expressed visually.
Let’s start with number of drinks per week and on any given day:
Then let’s look at what constitutes a standard drink
Drinking within these guidelines is predicted to reduce your risk of dying from an alcohol-related condition to less than 1 in 100.
It would be remiss of me however not to remind you that the ‘safest’ level of alcohol intake is no alcohol intake.
And yes, I realise you might not be very happy with me reminding you of this as we head into the part of the year most commonly associated with high levels of drinking.
Take care people