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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Overview of alcohol & reducing your risks from drinking

Waipiro me te inu i te haumarutanga

Alcohol is the most commonly used recreational drug in New Zealand. Drinking alcohol can lead to many health and social problems, both in the short term when you're drinking and over longer periods of time.

Negative effects of drinking alcohol include health issues such as:

The World Health Organization links over 200 diseases with alcohol use, including stroke and mental health conditions.

Injuries are also strongly linked to alcohol use. This includes injuries resulting from car accidents and assaults.

Some social and economic problems are closely linked to alcohol use. These include family violence, crime, absenteeism from work and financial hardship. Alcohol-related harm is estimated to cost $6.6 billion in New Zealand.

No level of drinking can completely remove the risks of alcohol-related harm. But changing the way you drink may reduce the risks to you, your whānau (family), and your community.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Reducing your risks from drinking alcohol

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2023.


Page reference: 361018

Review key: HIAAD-16539