What is it?
Alcohol is a legal drug in Australia for people over the age of 18. However, alcohol use can cause problems. Accident, injury, liver disease, heart disease and cancer are just some of many risks linked with drinking too much. You should drink no more than two standard drinks per day to reduce the lifetime risk of alcohol-related disease or injury.
Binge drinking can cause serious alcohol-related injuries. Binge drinking is consuming more than four standard drinks per day. Most people who have a problem with drinking can stop, or cut back, and improve their health in the process.
What will my GP do now?
Your GP will talk to you about how often you drink, how much and any symptoms you may have. They will help you develop a plan to cut down or stop alcohol, depending on your goal. Your GP will also:
- Check your overall health and wellbeing
- Test for any alcohol-related health issues, including physical and mental health
Your GP may also refer for to a drug and alcohol service for support or treatment.
What will my GP do in the future?
Your GP will see you regularly to check the progress of your treatment plan. If you’re finding it hard to cut down or stop drinking, your GP will modify your plan.
Your GP may:
- Talk to you about medications to help stop using alcohol
- Refer you to a specialist service, including inpatient detoxification if needed
- Check for any underlying health issues, such as depression or anxiety, that are making it hard for you to stop drinking
What can I do?
If you feel that your drinking is a problem, the first step is talking to your GP. They will work with you to make a plan and give you tools and resources to help you learn more about alcohol and your health.
If you relapse, remember that this happens to many people. Don’t feel guilty or like a failure if you tried to stop drinking but couldn’t. Keep trying – tomorrow is another day.