While many New Zealanders enjoy the social aspects of drinking alcohol, from a health perspective there is no completley “risk free" drinking.
Most importantly, there is no "risk free" drinking for children and adolescents and "no known safe level" of drinking for pregnant women.
In general, the more alcohol consumed the greater the risk of short and long-term harm. A meta-analysis of literature on alcohol-related diseases indicate that alcohol increase the risk of over 200 health conditions, both chronic and acute conditions, and injuries. This harm places a significant burden on our health, social and other services as well as the individuals and families affected. For more information on the harms from drinking, click here.
There are some styles or patterns of drinking that pose the greatest risk (e.g. binge drinking and dependence). This section takes a look at these and suggests some actions that can help reduce the risk of harm.
This section also covers the harms from drinking during pregnancy and what you can do to support loved ones around you to avoid drinking during this important time.
If you are particularly interested in addressing drinking among children and young people, please click here