How much alcohol is drunk in Australia in excess of the new Australian alcohol guidelines?

Tim R Stockwell, Penny Heale, Tanya N Chikritzhs, Paul Dietze and Paul Catalano
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04308.x
Published online: 21 January 2002

To the Editor: The National Health and Medical Research Council has launched new Australian alcohol guidelines1 to help reduce alcohol-caused deaths in Australia, estimated to have been 3290 in 1997.2 Male drinkers are advised to drink no more than an average of 40 g alcohol per day and females no more than an average of 20 g of alcohol per day to prevent chronic health problems (eg, alcoholic liver cirrhosis). Furthermore, it is recommended that, provided there are no other situational or individual risk factors (such as driving or being pregnant), men drink no more than 60 g on any day and women no more than 40 g to prevent acute conditions associated with bouts of intoxication (eg, alcohol-related injuries).


  • 1. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian alcohol guidelines: health risks and benefits. Canberra: NHMRC, 2001.
  • 2. Chikritzhs T, Jonas H, Stockwell TR, et al. Mortality and life-years lost due to alcohol: a comparison of acute and chronic causes. Med J Aust 2001; 174: 281-284.
  • 3. Stockwell T, Heale P, Dietze P, et al. Patterns of alcohol consumption in Australia, 1998. National Alcohol Indicators, Technical Report No. 3. Perth: National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, 2001.
  • 4. Norström T, Skög OJ. Alcohol and mortality: methodological and analytical issues in aggregate analyses. Addiction 2001; 96 (1 Suppl): S5-S1 7.


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