With the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions and arrival of the festive season, events and get-togethers are finally back on. And while it’s nice to having something to look forward to again, it can also be a time of excess, especially when it comes to alcohol.
Recent research shows Australians have been hitting the booze hard during the pandemic. In fact, Australians got drunk more than any other country in the world last year, a new survey has revealed. The Global Drug Survey 2021 found that Aussies ‘got on the beers’ the most, getting drunk 27 times on average throughout the year, compared with the global average of 15 times.
So what can we do to enjoy the festivities this Christmas without going too far? If you do intend drinking alcohol, it’s best to stay within the recommended dinking limits.
To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, Australian health advice is to drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week; and drink no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day. Information about standard drinks can be found online.
The number of standard drinks is identified on packaged alcohol, but knowing how much alcohol you are drinking at home can be tricky. Here’s a handy tool to see how many standard drinks are in your typical pour.
If you are drinking alcohol this Christmas, here are some tips to help you and your loved ones to stay safe:
- Know your limits and keep count of how many standard drinks you are consuming. A good idea is to pour your own drinks so you can keep track of how much you are drinking (see below for information on standard drinks).
- Stay hydrated and try alternating alcoholic drinks and water
- Make sure you have something to eat before and/or while drinking.
- Plan ahead so that you don’t drink and drive. If you are planning to have a few drinks, arrange a ride home
- Look out for your friends or family members. Offer water and food if they are drinking or arrange a lift home to help keep them safe.
BCYF’s Manager AOD & Mental Health Services Josie Taylor reminds people that support is available.
“If you notice changes in someone’s behaviour, don’t make assumptions but do let them know you care. It’s important not to not shy away from having the conversation if you’re worried about a loved one, but approach them in a gentle and compassionate way. You could be the change in that person’s life. If you’re feeling nervous about having that conversation, our family drug and alcohol services can help. The important thing to know is that you’re not alone,” Josie said.
BCYF offers a wide range of programs for people who may need support in relation to alcohol or other drug use. This includes child, youth, adult and family alcohol and drug services that provide support for people who use drugs and also those who are affected by the drug or alcohol use of a loved one.