How alcohol impacts your community and family

How alcohol impacts your community and family

Alcohol can have a negative effect on the people around us. It is important to stay healthy for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s also important to look out for people in the community who may need additional support.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

It is important to avoid all alcohol while pregnant or planning pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with a range of adverse consequences including miscarriage, still or premature birth, low birth weights and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). That’s why Australia’s drinking guidelines state that there is no known ‘safe’ time or level of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. 

If you have consumed alcohol while pregnant and are concerned, or are having trouble stopping drinking, you should talk to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician. It is also important to talk to someone if you think you might be struggling with depression, stress or anxiety. Your health professional can refer you to services to support you and your baby to be healthy.

For advice and support call the NOFASD Helpline: 1800 860 613

Family and domestic violence

Alcohol use is a contributor to intimate partner violence, increasing both the frequency and severity of that violence.

Everyone has a right to feel safe in their own home. If you, or someone you know is experiencing physical or emotional violence, you can call 1800RESPECT for advice and support or visit

Social and financial problems

Alcohol can have a negative effect on aspects of social life as well as health. Alcohol can reduce inhibitions, leading to behaviour you might later regret such as gambling or excessive online purchasing that makes financial problems worse. For financial advice visit the National Debt Helpline or call 1800 007 007. For gambling advice visit Gambling Help Online or call 1800 858 858.

Increased pressure on the health system

Now is the time to look out for ourselves and the broader community. 

We can all take measures to ensure the health system is not overwhelmed. Even before COVID-19 up to one in four emergency department presentations were alcohol-related. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we all stay as healthy as we can.

If you are worried about drinking alcohol or that of those close to you, there are communities, people and resources you can turn to for help.

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©2020 Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education