Reduce alcohol consumption

What is good health?

Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia.  Risky alcohol consumption can result in alcohol dependence, cancers, road trauma and other injuries, as well as assaults and death.

To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women (not pregnant or breastfeeding) should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.1

To prevent harm from alcohol to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.

To reduce the risk of injury and other harms to health, children and people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol.

Workplaces can influence the alcohol consumption of staff by making changes in the workplace culture.

Workplace Strategies

A combination of ‘healthy people’ and ‘healthy places’ strategies are most effective in promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace.  Healthy people strategies may look to increase the health knowledge, awareness and positive attitudes of workers (personal development) and/or facilitate their active participation in healthy behaviours (behaviour change).  Healthy places strategies are about providing a health promoting workplace environment through facilities, supportive cultures and/or policies.

For detailed information on developing and implementing a workplace health and wellbeing program, download a copy of the Guide to Promoting Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace 2016 (PDF – 5.4mb – under review, December 2020). Also refer to the Supporting Resources page for great ideas, services and information to assist your workplace in implementing the example strategies below, and more.

Examples of Reduced Alcohol Healthy people Healthy places
Provide information and resources on responsible alcohol use to employees.


Promote services and programs that provide information, advice, counselling and referral to treatment services for staff who may be concerned about their alcohol use, or that of family or friends.


Remind workers that they can seek advice, support and referral from their General Practitioner or other health professional.


Offer education and training to employees and supervisors about safe consumption of alcohol.


If you’re hosting work functions, follow the Australian low risk alcohol guidelines. Make sure to provide non-alcoholic drink options.


Organise social and other team building functions that do not include alcohol; e.g. physical activity challenges.


◊◊ Develop and implement a workplace policy that encourages responsible alcohol use at work related events.


◊◊ Offer workplace Employee Assistance Programs to help employees reduce their alcohol intake.


Within these tables: ◊ this symbol indicates an easy or low-resource activity  ◊◊ this symbol indicates a more comprehensively resourced activity.


Links to Further Resources

The following websites provide great ideas, services and information to assist your workplace in implementing the above example strategies and more.

Health Campaigns and Information

Individual Support Services

  • ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Services Directory 2011 (ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Association)
  • Directions ACT– alcohol and other drug information, counselling and referral service
  • Drug, Alcohol and Justice Health (ACT Government ACT Health) – 24 hour helpline (Ph 02 5124 9977)
  • ADF Shop (ADF) – tools for people who want to quit or cut back on their alcohol intake
  • CounsellingOnline (Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre in Victoria) – free 24 hour online alcohol or drug related counselling service
  • Hello Sunday Morning – online program to help change your relationship with alcohol
  • You can also seek advice, support and referrals from your General Practitioner or other health professionals regarding your health and wellbeing

Programs and Activities

  • Celebrate YOU (ADF) – Summer 2020-21 campaign
  • The Right Mix : Handy Hints for Functions (Australian Government Department of Veteran’s Affairs) – handy hints on the provision of alcohol for functions
  • Promote national or local events:
    • Dry July  – a month off drinking alcohol to raise funds for adults living with cancer
    • Feb Fast – 29 alcohol free days to raise money to tackle teenage alcohol and drug problems
  • Healthier Work Calendar – for information on events to promote in the workplace

Workplace Policy

  • For information on ACT Legislative requirements regarding  liquor licences and permits, and risk management associated with the sale and consumption of alcohol (Access Canberra)
  • Alcohol and drugs in the workplace (National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction) – an information and resource pack, including information on developing a workplace alcohol and other drug policy
  • Alcohol and other Drugs in the Workplace (ADF) – fact sheets on the impact of alcohol and other drugs on the workplace and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers
  • Alcohol Policy (Healthier Workplace WA) – program resources template policy
  • Drugs and Alcohol (Safe Work Australia) – discusses work health and safety duties in relation to drugs and alcohol

For more information on providers of health and wellbeing activities go to the Service Provider section


[1] National Health and Medical Research Council (2020). Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. Australian Government: Canberra.