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HealthInfo Canterbury

Safe drinking

Inuhia haumaru

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.

Low-risk drinking is considered to be no more than:

This is shown in the following graphic from the Health Promotion Agency.

If you're an older adult, you should probably drink less than this. See Alcohol & older people for more information.

A standard drink

A standard drink is smaller than many people expect. In New Zealand, it is a drink that contains 10 grams of pure alcohol. Drinks poured at home or in a bar tend to be more than one standard drink.

When you shouldn't drink

You shouldn't drink if you:

Finding out if your drinking is OK

You can find out if your drinking is OK by doing the AUDIT test. Also see Alcohol & safe drinking for information about how to drink alcohol safely.

New Zealand has a binge drinking culture. This means that many people accept unhealthy, or abusive patterns of drinking. But this doesn't change that fact that our bodies can only cope with a certain amount of alcohol before it starts to cause us problems.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Cutting down on drinking

Written by Health in All Policies Advisor, Community & Public Health, Canterbury DHB. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Public Health Specialist, Community & Public Health, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed November 2019.


See also:

Alcohol in pregnancy

Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol use in youth & teens

Page reference: 358452

Review key: HIAAD-16539