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Drug and alcohol safety

Alcohol and drug safety

Access to the right information can help you make the right decisions about the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Alcohol safety

Drinking responsibly can minimise your risk of alcohol-related injury.

The following tips can help you stay in control and safe when you drink.

  • Set limits for yourself and stick to them
  • Start with non-alcoholic drinks, such as water, and alternate with alcoholic drinks
  • Drink slowly
  • Choose drinks with a low alcohol content
  • Eat before or while you are drinking
  • Buy your own drinks and be aware of how much alcohol you are consuming
  • Don't drink and drive. Drink responsibly.

Alcohol consumption

Gender, age, mental health, drug use, and existing medical conditions can change how alcohol affects you.

The national guidelines for alcohol consumption indicate:

  • for healthy men and women, drinking no more than 2 standard drinks on any day reduces your risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over a lifetime
  • drinking no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion
  • for children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option
  • for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.

View the standard drinks guide.

Drug safety

Smoking

Each year in Queensland there are an estimated 3400 smoking-related deaths. Half of all lifetime smokers will die from smoking.

To reduce the impact of tobacco smoke, Australian tobacco laws prohibit smoking in many public places.

View a summary of tobacco laws, including where smoking is prohibited in Australia.

For more information about the health risks and effects of tobacco smoking visit Queensland Health.

Illicit drugs

It is illegal to possess illicit or dangerous drugs, such as:

  • cannabis
  • methamphetamine
  • heroin
  • cocaine
  • ecstasy.

The impacts of illicit drug use in the community include premature death, crime, mental health disorders, transmission of HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne viruses

Read more about the health risks and effects of drug use.

Drug driving

There is zero tolerance for drug driving in Queensland.

Mixing drugs with other drugs or alcohol can affect your health and ability to drive safely.

Stay safe on the road with the following tips:

  • Never drive after taking illegal drugs
  • Never drive after taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications that could affect your driving
  • If you take a prescription and you are unsure of the effect of that drug on your ability to drive, don't drive; use public transport, ask someone else to drive or catch a taxi.

Read more about the effects of drug driving.

Volatile substance misuse (sniffing petrol/solvents)

Volatile substances are products that produce chemical gases or fumes at room temperature.

Typically inhaled for the purpose of intoxication, volatile substances can cause serious health complications.

Read more about the risks of volatile substance misuse.

Youth

Parents and guardians are responsible for protecting children from situations where alcohol and other drug misuse can start.

To keep your children safe from the risks of alcohol and other drugs:

  • Communicate with your children
    • Set clear rules and expectations about the use of alcohol and other drugs
    • Agree on the time that they are to arrive home and how they will get there.
  • Plan for risky situations
    • Discuss what they should do if they can't get home on time, including how they might contact you to let you know there is a problem
    • Let them know that you are prepared to go and pick them up
    • Agree on an escape plan for dangerous situations. Make sure this plan is clear in your children's minds.
  • Know who your children's friends are
    • Be aware of who your children's friends are. If you suspect that they are using alcohol or other drugs, find ways to reduce the pressures on your children to misuse alcohol and other drugs.
    • Encourage a strong sense of responsibility in your children to look after friends who are at risk of alcohol or other drug-related harm.

Read more about how to discuss and manage alcohol use by teenagers.

One Punch Can Kill is an initiative to reduce the number of assaults on people at parties, in bars or out on the streets.

Party Safe

Party Safe is a Queensland Police Service program that will help you hold a party that is safe and enjoyable for parents, hosts and guests.

Register your party (PDF, 54KB) at least 2 weeks in advance to give police the details they need to know if they are called to your party to deal with an incident.

Help and support

If you are concerned about your own, or someone else's, alcohol, tobacco or other drug use and would like more information or help, there are several services available.

Get help now

Last updated
30 September, 2013

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