Drinking responsibly for mates

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released the newly revised guidelines on reducing health risks from drinking alcohol
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released the newly revised guidelines on reducing health risks from drinking alcohol

AUSTRALIANS believe responsible drinking has to do with caring for people around you, not how much has been drunk, according to new research.

A report commissioned by Alcohol Beverages Australia has looked into how Australians see responsible drinking.

It found they “wildly underestimate” the guidelines.

“Pretty much no one we spoke to could quote the current public health guidelines for responsible drinking correctly that recommend limiting intake to around 1.4 drinks per day,” Australian National University professor Simone Dennis said.

“A person who was too hungover to help their child with homework was considered an irresponsible drinker, rather than basing this on the volume of alcohol consumed.”

Exploring the relationship of Australians with alcohol drinking, participants in the research ranked drink driving as the ultimate act of irresponsible drinking.

The research also uncovered strategies used to mitigate the effects of alcohol, like switching from beer and brown liquors to white spirits and champagne over the course of an evening.

“The apparent disregard for volume did not dismiss an awareness of the effects of alcohol,” Prof Dennis said.

“People we interviewed had very intimate rules and practices about drinking that were specific to their own bodies.”

Some strategies to drink responsibly identified in the study included drawing an isolated drinker back into the group or rostering on one person to remain sober in case of emergencies.

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