With festive season around the corner, so are the barbeques, functions and family gatherings. This is a good time of the year to reflect on our drinking culture and the way we drink.

Drinking too much alcohol on any one occasion can result in harms for yourself or those around you – including injury, illness, violence, family disruption, road accidents and property damage.

The national drinking guidelines recommend no more than 1.4 standard drinks on any given day for healthy adults to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury.

If you do choose to drink over the festive season, here are some tips to help reduce your alcohol intake, and to look after yourself, your family and friends:

  • Choose low strength alcohol or non-alcohol options
  • Introduce some alcohol-free days each week
  • Eat before, and while, you are drinking; after all, food during the festive season tastes far better!
  • Alternate with non-alcoholic drinks (introduce a ‘water wedge’ between drinks)
  • Avoid drinking in rounds, go at your own pace and shout your friends some food instead
  • Ask a friend, partner or family member to join you and to keep you accountable over the festive season

Reducing your drinking will not only reduce your risk of alcohol-related disease, but you will also feel better in the short term.

Reducing your drinking will result in deeper sleep, more energy, a clearer mind, and more money in the bank! You will have more energy to unwrap gifts, out lap others in the pool, hit sixes at the family cricket, and other things you enjoy.

For more ways to reduce your alcohol intake, and tips to look after yourself, your family and friends, go to: www.alcoholthinkagain.com.au  or check out Hello Sunday Morning at www.hellosundaymorning.org for online support and encouragement to change your relationship with alcohol.

If you are concerned about your own or another person’s alcohol or drug use, call Holyoake on 9416 4444 or the 24-hour Alcohol and Drug Support Line on 1800 198 024 or the Parent and Family Drug Support Line on 1800 653 203.