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Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol

by National Health and Medical Research Council

Report
Year 2009
City Canberra
Institution National Health and Medical Research Council
Date February 2009

Abstract

In 2009, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) introduced revised guidelines that depart from specifying 'risky' and 'high risk' levels of drinking. The guidelines seek to estimate the overall risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime and to reduce the level of risk to one death for every 100 people.

There is no longer any difference in the guidelines based on gender; the guidelines are universal for adults over 18 years (Guidelines 1 and 2). Specific guidance is also provided for children and young people (Guideline 3), and pregnant and breastfeeding women (Guideline 4).

  • Guideline one: to reduce the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, no more than two standard drinks should be consumed on any day
  • Guideline two: to reduce the risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking, no more than four standard drinks should be consumed
  • Guideline three: recommends that children under 15 years are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important. For young people aged 15-17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible
  • Guideline four: recommends for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant, not drinking is the safest option.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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Last updated: 12 April 2017
 
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