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.

For healthy adult men and women (not pregnant or breastfeeding)1:

  • drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury; and
  • drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.

In pregnancy it is advisable to drink no alcohol at all. For young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Almost half of ACT workers consume alcohol on a single occasion at harmful levels, and almost a quarter consume alcohol at levels that are harmful on a long-term basis2.

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). 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 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 (Australian Drug Foundation) – 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

  • The Good Host Program (Australia Drug Foundation Drug) targeted to corporate events and hospitality,this program helps businesses to better manage their events safely
  • 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 more information on providers of health and wellbeing activities go to the Service Provider section


[1] National Health and Medical Research Council (2009). Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. Australian Government: Canberra.

[2] PricewaterhouseCoopers (2011). ACT Workplace Health Promotion Needs Analysis: Summary Report. Prepared on behalf of the ACT Government Health Directorate.  Accessed 7 March 2012