Australia is famous for its drinking culture. As in many other countries, alcohol is used as a way to relax and engage in social situations.
However, the social benefits are hard to notice if alcohol takes over your life. You can get the most out of it if you stay in control of your drinking habits.
There is much less pressure in Australia now to “keep up” with other drinkers. Many years ago, some people would be offended if you refused to have a drink with them. If you feel it is difficult to simply refuse, you can say you have to drive, get up early tomorrow, or can't drink too much without feeling ill.
If you are going to drink alcohol, it’s important that you know how to drink safely. On average, the human body can process 10 grams of alcohol in one hour. In Australia, this is a “standard drink”.
A 375 ml can of beer containing 3.5% of alcohol is one standard drink, a glass of wine is just over 1½ standard drinks, and a shot of whisky is just under one standard drink. A “pot” (285 ml) is a little over half.
To compare different drinks, use the calculator at drinkwise.org.au.
Know your limit
How much alcohol you can consume depends on your sex, age, weight, health, and many other factors. It is recommended that healthy men and women limit themselves to two standard drinks a day, but the above factors could lower that number.
If you drink too quickly, you are a “guzzler”, and you will find it hard to tell how much you are drinking and how it will affect you. Don't try to match other people's drinking speed.
Drink water and eat
Drinking water can keep you hydrated, and eating will decrease the rate of alcohol digestion. Some people suggest drinking a large glass of milk before going out will help line your stomach.
It is illegal under any circumstances to drink alcohol if you under 18, or to supply alcohol to someone under 18. It is also illegal to drive if your blood alcohol level is over 0.05%. The average person reaches this level after two standard drinks.