Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh


Alcohol can change the way you think, feel and act just like any other drug, especially if you drink excessively or frequently. The guidlines below indicate low-risk drinking levels:

1) For healthy men and woman, drinking no more than 2 standand drinks( a 285 ml middy/pot glass of full strength beer, or 100 ml glass of wine, or a 30 ml nip of spirits) on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury;

2) Drinking no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury from that occasion.

3) Try to have at least one alcohol-free day (no alcohol) per week. Don't binge on other days to make up.

4) If you have liver disease (such a hepatitis), or liver inflammation, you should consider not drinking at all, or drink very little. Alcohol breaks down through your liver, putting additional strain on your liver.

5) Some people drink alcohol because it helps them feel better about themselves, but don't let alcohol replace other ways of feeling good and enjoying  life.

6) Recall if your experiences with alcohol have been good or bad. Ask yourself if this pattern has increased or decreased, as your amount and frequency of drinking increased or decreased.  Also, consider whether your behaviour, when drinking, negatively affects or harms the people around you.

7) Professional counsellors can help with thinking about solutions to problems associated with alcohol (or drugs). Also, treatments are available from your doctor to help overcome alcohol dependence. Ask for help, and the rewards will be a renewed sense of self with far less reliance upon alcohol and letting problems continue to buid-up.

Does alcohol affect HIV or Hepatitis? Animal research suggests that alcohol can increase HIV viral load. Alcohol is toxic to your liver and while many HIV treatments rely upon a healthy functioning liver to work properly, too much alcohol can place a higher burden on your liver's ability to eliminate toxins. Having a hepatitis co-infection can also increase your liver burden, and alcohol can impact negatively on hepatitits.

Gary: "I try to stay aware of myself and be honest about my use. I figure, if you choose to use drugs don't blame other factors on your drug use. But if you're using drugs to block out things that upset or affect you, reach out and ask for help. This is really important if you're in a spiral you can't get out of, where drugs have taken over your life and have started to affect your job or other responsibilities. I always pay my rent and bills and buy food first, before I buy drugs".

Michael: "The alcohol guideliness stres that they are for 'healthy' people (without HIV), and when you have HIV your body is fighting hard every day. I won't put alcohol in the mix as it just makes the body have to fight even harder".

John: "When I was youg alcohol was great fun, but as I got older I realised it became a need - a crutch. I needed more, more often. You've got to realise when enough is enough. I've learnt that excessive drinking can be extremely detrimental to your health and relationships.  Some people get aggro on alcohol or make bad decisions. Alcohol can be enjoyable in moderation, but beyond that it can destroy you... as sometimes those around you".

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