Alcohol and other Drugs

The most effective way to reduce the harms of alcohol and other drugs is not to use them.

Below are some other tips to reduce potential harm to you and others.

General safety tips

  • Find out as much as possible about the alcohol and/or other drugs you are using so that you can make informed choices.
  • Do not take more than one drug at the same time. This includes alcohol.
  • Do not use alcohol and/or other drugs alone – make sure you only use them in a safe environment and with people you trust.
  • Set yourself realistic limits and stick to them.
  • Allow your body to recover by making other healthy lifestyle choices, such as following a healthy diet, exercising and getting enough rest.
  • See your doctor regularly for a medical check-up.
  • Do not drive, or participate in other risky activities, such as water sports, handling sharp objects, operating machinery or working in a laboratory while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.

Alcohol safety tips

  • Start with water or a soft drink to quench your thirst before drinking alcohol.
  • Use standard drinks to record and monitor how much alcohol you drink.
  • It is easier to monitor how many standard drinks you consume if you drink from retail containers as they have the standard drinks content marked on the container or label
  • Drink slowly, take sips not gulps, and put your glass down between sips.
  • Eat before or while you are drinking – eating slows your drinking pace, fills you up and allows alcohol to be absorbed more slowly (eating will not prevent intoxication).
  • Avoid shouts or rounds – drink at your own pace, not someone else’s.
  • If your do participate in a shout, buy a non alcoholic drink for yourself when it is your turn.
  • Don’t let people top up your drinks as it is then hard to keep track of how much alcohol you have consumed.
  • Have a non alcoholic drink every second or third drink.
  • Do something so that you are not just drinking- play pool, dance, talk to friends.
  • Drink low-alcoholic alternatives, such as light beer, low-alcoholic or non-alcoholic wine or a non-alcoholic cocktail.
  • When mixing your own drinks, use more mixer and less alcohol than usual.
  • Have at least two non-alcoholic days a week and enjoy them.
  • Don’t be pressured into drinking more than you want or intend to – tell your friends, ‘thanks, but no thanks’.
  • Don’t drive if you are consuming alcohol – designate a driver, organise a lift, catch public transport or a taxi.
  • Prepare for possible sexual encounters and practice safe sex.

Visit the Australian Drug Foundation website for further information.