Tips for staying low-risk
The following tips can help keep your drinking low risk and manage high risk situations, if you do choose to drink alcohol.
Avoid drinking situations
Go to places where alcohol isn’t served. If you drink because you are bored or stressed, a walk or playing a sport that you enjoy may help
Count your standard drinks
Using standard drinks to measure your alcohol consumption is more accurate than counting the number of drinks you have had. Check the label on the bottle or can of alcohol as it will tell you how many standard drinks it contains. If you are pouring your own drink, such as wine or spirits, try to stick to one standard drink per glass (practice pouring here). Remember to keep your drink diary to help with this.
Slow down your drinking
You can enjoy your drink just as much, if not more, if you drink slowly. Try and remind yourself to sip, not gulp as this will help you to control your rate of drinking. Concentrate on drinking every drink slowly.
Take less alcohol with you
When you go out, such as to a barbecue or dinner party, take less alcohol with you and take some non-alcoholic drinks.
Make every second drink a non-alcoholic drink
Drink non-alcoholic drinks as ‘spacers’ such as a glass of water, soft drink, soda water or juice.
Eat before or while you are drinking
With food in your stomach you are likely to drink more slowly and the alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream at a slower rate.
With top-ups, you can’t be sure how much you are drinking.
Drink water with a meal
Have water available on the table while you are having a meal.
Practice saying no
It may be difficult at first, but you’ll be surprised how quickly it can become comfortable to say ‘no’ and other will get used to it.
Try low alcohol alternatives
There are now a range of low and medium-strength beers, or you can dilute your wine and/or spirits to make your drink last longer.
When you are thirsty, have a non-alcoholic drink or water instead
This helps quench your thirst so you will be able to drink your alcoholic beverage slower.
Stop drinking when you reach your limit
Start having water, soft drinks, fruit juice etc. You’ll find you can do without that extra drink after all.
Avoid drinking in rounds
Set your own drinking pace. The following strategies can help you avoid drinking in a ’round’:
- Simply opt out. Say you just don’t want to join the round
- Join the round but occasionally order a non-alcoholic drink for yourself as a spacer
- Pass up a drink during the round, your friends won’t mind — you’re saving them money.
If these suggestions for managing drinking in rounds are too difficult, you may consider avoiding situation where the pressure is on you to drink in groups.
In this section:
Australian Alcohol Guidelines