Do I drink too much alcohol?
Do I drink too much alcohol? Is this a question you have asked yourself lately? Have you ever wondered how much is too much?
The recently released National Drug Strategy Household Survey (AIHW, 2019) showed that alcohol remains the most commonly used drug in Australia, with about 3 in 4 Australians reporting drinking alcohol in the previous 12 months. 25% of these people report drinking at risky levels (more than four standard drinks on a single occasion). Close to 17% are drinking at levels that put them at risk of harm over their lifetime (more than two standard drinks per day).
We are living in an ever-changing world. The uncertainties of COVID-19 and the stress of social isolation can ‘drive a person to drink’. As alcohol slows down the central nervous system, the worries of the world seem to wash away with every sip. People may start to rely on alcohol instead of exploring other ways to de-stress and relax.
We know that alcohol can have harmful effects on our health such as digestive problems, high blood pressure, liver disease and cancers. Alcohol can also impact our mental health and increase the risk of experiencing anxiety and depression. Drinking at risky levels can also impact relationships, work-life and finances.
Assist Screening Tool – Download Assist Checkup Apps
Are you at risk? A good way to assess your risk is to complete My ASSIST. The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Screening Test (ASSIST) was developed by the World Health Organization. You can complete My ASSIST in the privacy of your own home via the ASSIST Plus website. There is also an ASSIST Checkup Apps which can be downloaded.
Completing the ASSIST screening tool is the first step in addressing your concerns about your drinking. Based on your answers to the eight questions, My ASSIST informs you of your risk category (low, moderate of high) and provides advice on how to reduce that risk. What you do with information is entirely up to you. If you are concerned, you may like to discuss the results with a health professional.
So, the next time you wonder ‘do I drink too much alcohol’ complete the My ASSIST and assess your risk. You have the opportunity to make a positive change today.