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Alcohol-related injuries

How can we reduce alcohol-related harm? 

Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of injury. Many alcohol-related injuries are due to overconsumption. Alcohol has numerous effects on the body which can often impact your mental alertness, level of coordination, ability to respond to hazards and risk taking behaviour. Alcohol consumption also has additional effects when mixed with medications. Common injuries that are affected by alcohol consumption include road crashes, drowning, poisoning and falls.

Whilst there is no safe level of drinking, if you choose to drink alcohol there are actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of alcohol-related harm.

  • Discussing your alcohol use with your GP.
  • Choosing low or no alcohol alternatives. These may have the same or similar taste but with less or no alcohol. 
  • Following the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Alcohol Guidelines and never drinking more than 10 standard drinks a week and more than four in a single drinking session.
  • Eating food before and while drinking. This will help to slow your drinking pace and the absorption of alcohol. 
  • Only ordering small serves of alcohol and avoiding high-alcohol content drinks.  
  • Keeping track of how many drinks you have consumed by not allowing others to top up your glass.  
  • Having alcohol-free days.

If you are going out with the intention of drinking alcohol or will be around others who are drinking, to avoid getting yourself into any dangerous situations it is always important to: 

  • Share your plans, including the venue and how long you expect to be out for, with your family, friends or partner. 
  • Ensure you have contact numbers for your friends and that your phone is fully charged when you go out. 
  • Before you go out, make sure you have a lift home organised by either a family member or friend who has not been drinking. If everyone has been drinking, call a taxi or ride share service.  

What happens if you are involved in an alcohol-related injury? 

If you or someone you know is involved in an incident that has caused harm, call 000 immediately to seek urgent medical attention. Likewise, if someone is displaying signs of violence, please call 000 for help.  

If you are concerned about your level of alcohol intake, you can discuss this with your doctor or call one of the following organisations for support:

Organisations and Programs

Resources

Burden of Injury in WA Factsheet

Download

Reporting Road Traffic Incidents Resource

Download

2022 WA Falls Report

Download

2021 WA Falls Report

Download

Six Supportive Steps Campaign Toolkit

Download

External Resources

References