Gastroenterology clinic

How I help patients with alcohol problems

Paul S Haber



Many people with alcohol problems will change their drinking in response to simple advice. Dr Haber outlines a management approach for use in general practice.

Article Extract

  • A standard drink is defined as 10 g of alcohol. Approximate examples are: light beer (2 to 3% alcohol), 1 can (375 mL); full-strength beer (4 to 5% alcohol), 1 middy (a can or schooner is about 1.5 drinks); table wine, 100 mL; fortified wine, 60 mL; spirits, 30 mL.
  • Moderate alcohol use is associated with social and health benefits.
  • The NHMRC recommends an average of no more than four standard drinks per day for men and no more than two per day for women, with one or two alcohol-free days per week.
  • Many people who have alcohol problems are unaware that their level of consumption is unsafe.