All areas of a person’s life can be affected by alcohol use.

  • Disagreements and frustration over alcohol use can cause family arguments and affect personal relationships.
  • Legal and health problems can also add to the strain on personal, financial and work relationships.


If a dependent person stops drinking alcohol, they may have withdrawal symptoms because their body has to get used to functioning without alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms usually start about 4–12 hours after the last drink and can continue for about 4–5 days. These symptoms include sweating, tremors, nausea and anxiety.

Withdrawal from alcohol carries the risk of seizures or fits. Medical assistance may be required to help the person get through withdrawal safely.

Getting help


In Australia, there are many different types of treatments for drug problems. Some aim to help a person to stop using a drug, while others aim to reduce the risks and harm related to their drug use. Find out more about treatment.

What to do if you are concerned about someone’s alcohol use

If you are concerned about someone’s alcohol use, there is help available. Contact the alcohol and drug information service in your state or territory.

What to do in a crisis

Always call triple zero (000) if an overdose is known or suspected—and remember that paramedics are not obliged to involve the police.

If someone overdoses or has an adverse reaction while drinking alcohol, it is very important that they receive professional help as soon as possible. A quick response can save their life.

For more information, please click on the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s (previously Australian Drug Foundation) logo below.

Australian Drug Foundation logo