This section of the site provides alcohol-related information relevant to young people (under 18's), parents and young adults.
New Victorian online alcohol information, self assessment and intervention tool - Say When
Say When is a free online information, screening and intervention tool desgined to help Victorians who drink alcohol to self-assess their own drinking habits, compare themselves to others and check whether their drinking is putting them at risk of harm. It also includes information on alcohol and its effects and a comprehensive self-guided alcohol reduction program with motivational enhancements, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques and interactive tools.
Check Say When out, have a play, or even better, take the self assessment under drink check to see how your drinking stacks up. Until 31 August 2012, if you complete the online self assessment you will be eligible to enter the draw to win an Apple Mac pack worth $3000.
Say When is on the award winning Better Health Channel at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/saywhen
Promote Say When
Should you wish to promote Say When to your friends, colleagues, around your sporting club or anywhere else, the following blurb can be used for websites, newsletters or emails:
Say When is a free online information, screening and intervention tool designed to help Victorians who drink alcohol to self-assess their own drinking habits, compare themlselves to others and check whether their drinking is putting them at risk of harm.
The tool enables people to inform themselves and do a self-assessment anonymously, confidentially and in the privacy of their own home.
Say When offers personalised feedback on how a person's drinking compares to other's, and whether they are at risk of alcohol-related illness or injury.
Say When is on the award winning Better Health Channell at: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/saywhen
Alcohol & its effects
There are a number of short-term and long-term effects of alcohol consumption – the extent of these effects will all depend on the amount and manner in which you drink.
Drinking at moderate levels will have the least negative impact on the body, whereas drinking at hazardous levels will take its toll. Short-term effects of drinking to excess can be weight gain, hangovers and alcohol poisoning. When drinking to excess people can also become more susceptible to other dangers, such as risk of injury, verbal or physical abuse and unsafe or unwanted sex.
Alcohol can enter the bloodstream very quickly. Unlike food, it doesn’t require digestion and once consumed it can reach the brain within minutes. Once in the bloodstream it goes through to the liver, where it is estimated to take an hour to eliminate one drink – so if more alcohol is absorbed in the liver than what it can handle, excess alcohol will travel to all different parts of the body, circulating until the liver is finally able to process it. This will cause hangovers and leave you feeling tired and groggy.
It is not always easy to determine exactly how much alcohol you’ve been drinking. Ultimately, it’s not how many drinks you have but rather the amount of alcohol you consume. In 2009, the National Health and Medical Research Council released revised Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol , which are based on the concept of a standard drink. According to these guidelines, one standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol.
|Examples of a Standard Drink|
Other drinks will vary in their strength of alcohol and will therefore be equal to more or less than a standard drink.
Alcohol intake guidelines
The following guidelines can help you determine if your alcohol intake is harmful.
- Adult men and women – for healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of alcohol-related disease or injury. Drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion. Everyone should have one or two days free of alcohol a week.
- Children and young people – the safest choice for young people under 18 years of age is not to drink at all. Young people under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and are advised not to drink alcohol. If older teenagers (over 15 years) do drink, it should be under adult supervision and within the adult guideline for low-risk drinking (two standard drinks in any one day).
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women – the safest choice is not to drink alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are planning to become pregnant.
The risk of injury and disease increases the more you drink. Any drinking above recommended levels carries a higher risk than not drinking. Mixing alcohol and other drugs – either illegal drugs or some prescription drugs – can cause serious health problems.
See Alcohol guidelines: reducing the health risks (National Health & Medical Research Council)