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Alcohol Use

While drinking alcohol occasionally in moderation does not have major effects on your health and life, excessive drinking can. “A drinker at risk is someone whose health is likely to be affected by drinking or who is or is likely to become an alcoholic. Risk drinking during weekdays involves on average 7,5% of the population and is more prevalent at weekends (“binge drinking”) with an average of 31,5% of those aged between 25 and 54 at greatest risk.” (South African National Drug Master Plan 2006-2011)

  • Binge drinking is the most common type of alcohol abuse and is defined as consuming 4 or more drinks for women during a single occasion and for men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.
  • Heavy drinking is defined as consuming: 8 or more drinks per week for women and for men, 15 or more drinks per week.


Short Term Issues Caused by Alcohol
  • Alcohol affects our decision-making abilities as well as our motor skills. This leads to things such as risky behaviour, physical injuries due to falls, assault situations with other people, and motor vehicle accidents.
  • When you drink too much, you do not make the best choices. Poor choices while being under the influence of alcohol leave many people injured, put into jail, or killed every single year.



Long Term Health Issues Related to Excessive Alcohol Consumption (source:
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver and colon
  • Learning and memory problems – including dementia
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • Alcohol dependence or alcoholism


  • If you are going to drink, it is important to do so responsibly. A spilt second decision under the influence of alcohol can change your entire life.
  • Over the long term, alcohol abuse will negatively affect your health. Think about your health, your life, and your family before you drink the drink that puts you over the edge.


Questions you can use to get them talking:
  • How can excessive use of alcohol outside of work affect your job or our company?

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