There have been a number of studies conducted, both in Australia and overseas, examining the alcohol consumption levels of police officers. The general finding among these studies is that police officers consume greater quantities of alcohol per occasion than the normal population. Research conducted in the policing context has found that factors such as shift work, a lack of leadership and support, occupational stress and police culture are associated with excessive levels of alcohol consumption.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines now say to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury for healthy men and women, drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.
The less you choose to drink, the lower your risk of alcohol-related harm. For some people not drinking at all is the safest option.
It’s not always easy to tell when your alcohol intake has crossed the line from moderate or social drinking to problem drinking. Drinking is so common in many cultures and the effects vary so widely from person to person, it’s not always easy to figure out if you have a drinking problem. But if you consume alcohol to cope with difficulties or to avoid feeling bad, you’re in potentially dangerous territory.
The bottom line is how alcohol affects you. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, then you have a drinking problem.
Drinking problems can sneak up on you, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of alcohol abuse and alcoholism and take steps to cut back if you recognize them. Understanding the problem is the first step to overcoming it and either cutting back to healthy levels or quitting altogether.
There different treatment options that you can access to get support for yourself or a loved one who is experiencing difficulties with alcohol. This can include both psychological treatment and medication. You can speak to your GP, a QPS Senior Psychologist/Social Worker, call a helpline such as the Alcohol and Drug Information Services QLD.
QPS have support services available to you –