Drinking more than two standard drinks per day seriously impacts your long-term health and increases your lifetime risk of chronic disease and other health issues. Alcohol has a cumulative effect over a life-time, meaning your past present and future drinking will affect your general health now and in the future. The cumulative effect of alcohol is associated with:
- cardiovascular disease
- cirrhosis of the liver
- heart disease
- chronic kidney disease
- high blood pressure
- cognitive impairment
- mental health
Did you know that the World Health Organisation classifies alcohol a type 1 carcinogen? This means that alcohol causes cancer. In fact, even drinking small amounts of alcohol can increase your risk of mouth, oesophageal, colorectal (bowel) and breast cancer.
Information in this section has been drawn from the following sources:
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2014, National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013, Drug statistics series no. 28. Cat. no. PHE 183. Canberra: AIHW. Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129549848
- National Health and Medical Research Council, 2009, Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. NHMRC, Canberra. Available from: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/ds10-alcohol.pdf
- Baan, R, Straif, K, Grosse, Y, Screetan, B, El Ghissassi, F, Bouvard V, Altieri A, Cogliano, V, WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, 2007, Carcinogenicity of alcoholic beverages, The Lancet Oncology, vol. 8, 292-293.
- Dixon HG, Pratt IS, Scully ML, et al. Using a mass media campaign to raise women’s awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer: cross-sectional pre-intervention and post-intervention evaluation surveys. BMJ Open 2015; 5: e006511. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2014-006511
- Miller, P, Diment, C, Zinkiewicz, L, 2012, The role of alcohol in crime and disorder, Australian Drug Foundation, Victoria Department of Health, Prevention Research Quarterly no. 18, Melbourne, Victoria. Available from: http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/attachments/691_PRQ_CrimeandDisorder_FINAL.pdf