NHMRC LOW RISK DRINKING GUIDELINES!
Did you know that NHMRC have updated their low-risk drinking guidelines?
The new guidelines released in December 2020 recommend no more than 4 standard drinks on any one occasion, and no more than 10 standard drinks per week. The guidelines also recommend zero alcohol consumption for both children under the age of 18, and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The guidelines reflect what the NHMRC consider low-risk drinking; meaning consumption at-or-above these level are likely to increase your risk of alcohol related harm.
HOW MUCH IS A STANDARD DRINK?
A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol. Given different types of drinks contain varying levels of alcohol, this can be difficult to keep track of. For example, typically red wine contains between 13-15% alcohol. Therefore, 100ml of wine would constitute (roughly) one standard drink. For a more detailed picture, view the NHMRC standard drink infographic here
SO WHAT IS DIFFERENT?
The previous guidelines released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in 2009 suggested that no more than 2 standard drinks per day would reduce lifetime risk of alcohol related harm. Effectively the previous guidelines suggested no more than 14 standard drinks per week. This has now been revised down to 10. The recommendation of no more than 4 standard drinks per session remains unchanged.
WHAT ABOUT PREGNANT/BREASTFEEDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN?
Previous guidelines recommended zero consumption for children under 15, and for parents to delay for as long as possible the onset of consumption for those aged 15-17 years. This has now been revised to zero alcohol consumption for individuals under 18. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the recommendation of zero alcohol consumption remains unchanged.
WHY THE CHANGE?
The latest revisions reflect changes in evidence from public health which suggest that alcohol consumption increases the risk of a number of harms, including cancers and liver damage. Recent findings are also calling into question the notion that low-levels of drinking represents a protective factor from heart disease. Aside from the increased likelihood of chronic illness, alcohol consumption also increases the risk of intoxication-related harm, including motor vehicle accidents; and there is now a clear link between mental health and alcohol consumption.
WHERE CAN I GO TO FIND OUT MORE?
You can read more about the updated guidelines here.
If you want more tools and resources to better help you manage substance use of clients in general, you can visit our Portal.
If you want resources that you can point your clients to so that they can begin to manage their alcohol and other drug use more effectively, you can send them to our consumer website.