- Alcohol Activities & Services
The Activities & Services section of the website has information about what the HPA is up to.
This is where you can find out what we are working on and how we achieve our goals.
- Campaigns & Communication Work
- Community Action
- Support for Requirements of Sale and Supply
- Policy Advice & Research
- Support for Health Sector Action
- Want to use Standard Drinks Icons or SAY Now toolkit?
- Contact Us
- Alcohol & You
Want to know if your drinking is okay? Or are you considering making some changes to your drinking but want to know more? Do you know exactly how big a standard drink is?
Play the online games in the section to find out. Find out all about your relationship with alcohol here...
- Is Your Drinking Okay?
- How much are you drinking tonight?
- What's in a Standard Drink?
- Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Advice
- Easing up on the drink
- How to Be Safer
- Alcohol and Your Kids
- Body Effects Tool
- Alcohol - the Body & Health Effects
- How to Access Treatment
- The Law & You
- Drinking & Driving
- Legislation & Policy
Check out this section for NZ legislation and local strategies and polices relating to alcohol.
- Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
- Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012
- Local Alcohol Policies
- Sale of Liquor Act
- Planning & Resource Management Act
- Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Act
- Alcohol Bans
- Alcohol Strategies & Policies
- Liquor Licences
- Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority Decisions
- Advertising Alcohol
- Signage Resources for Vendors
- Host Responsibility
- Research & Resources
This is the research and resources section. This is where you can find alcohol statistics and researched topics.
HPA has a research blog. Take a look at some of the interesting conversations that are happening here.
- Latest Resources
- Online Resources
- PDFs of Alcohol Resources
- Order Publications, Resources & Signs
- SAY NOW Guidelines and Toolbox
- AlcoholNZ Magazine
- Monthly e-Newsletter
- Library Catalogue
- Research Publications
- Research Blog
- NZ Statistics
Immediate effects of alcohol use
Many people use low doses of alcohol for relaxation and to relieve tension, nervousness and stress.[2, 8] However, in some people alcohol creates rather than reduces stress through stimulating stress hormones. Alcohol affects mood in a variety of ways, and can make people feel happy, sad or aggressive, and can also make moods swing.[4, 8] However, there is a risk of becoming dependent on alcohol if it is used as a primary means to relieve stress and anxiety without addressing the underlying causes. Because alcohol removes inhibitions and increases aggression and recklessness, alcohol is often found in the blood of people who self-harm, or attempt or complete suicide.
Long-term effects of alcohol use
Alcohol is addictive and can lead to dependency. This is where the body requires more alcohol to achieve the desired effect (eg altered mood), where use of alcohol interferes with a person’s life (causing legal, work/study, relationship or social problems), where a person continues to use alcohol despite alcohol causing physical or mental problems, and if alcohol is not taken, withdrawal symptoms occur. The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on the quantity of alcohol consumed and the length of the drinking session. Symptoms including shaking of the hands, which commonly occurs the morning after the drinking session and may be relieved by more alcohol. If alcohol is not taken, symptoms can progress to insomnia, increased heart rate, temperature and blood pressure, sweating, agitation, nausea, flushing of the face, nightmares, hallucinations (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not present) and fits.[4, 13, 45, 46] The most serious withdrawal syndrome is ‘delirium tremens’, which develops in about five percent of people with alcohol withdrawal (more if fits are not treated) and by definition includes the symptom of delirium (an altered and confused state of mind). This syndrome has a death rate of around five percent.
In people who drink heavily, alcohol commonly causes mood disorders, including depression, anxiety and psychosis (a mental illness defined by changes in personality, a distorted sense of reality, and delusions). If these disorders only occur during drinking sessions or withdrawal, they will usually resolve once drinking is stopped. Alcohol abuse and dependency are also common in people with pre-existing mental health conditions.ShareThis