Not a single drop of alcohol is safe.
The Federal Department of Health advises that no amount of alcohol is risk-free.
The department advises that, if you’re a healthy adult, to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.
A 2013 investigation by the Victorian government, found that “alcohol plays a significant role in the way Victorians define their individual identities, as well as the identities of others”.
“Drinking is so culturally entrenched that we regularly use it as a way of expressing our values and beliefs.”
The investigators found that people who didn’t drink were largely perceived as “odd” and “extreme”.
Cutting back, a bit
In the past five years, we have, as a nation, reportedly cut back on our drinking.
Dr Michael Livingston is an associate professor at the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University.
In a July interview with wellness site Body and Soul, he said: “Consumption has been decreasing here since about 2007, and we’ve seen a 10 per cent reduction in per capita consumption across the whole population.
“It’s being driven by big shifts amongst teenagers and young adults; they’re drinking significantly less than previous generations did at the same age.”
In September, Cancer Australia reported that Australia’s annual alcohol consumption remains “relatively high compared to other developed countries” – fifth highest among 18 selected developed countries at 9.5 litres per capita.
The report said, “apparent alcohol consumption peaked in Australia in 1974-76 with an annual per capita consumption of 13.1 litres”.