alcohol & recreational drug use


Alcohol can affect your recovery from surgery. If you drink more than 2 standard drinks per day, you should speak to your GP as soon as possible before your surgery to develop a plan to safely reduce or cease your alcohol intake, to improve your health overall, and/or to prepare for surgery.


  • The National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline offers support and counselling and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1800 250 015
  • Get Healthy Information & Coaching Service for free support to reduce your drinking: 1300 806 258, or visit
  • Contact the Alcohol Drug Information Service for free 24-hour counselling: 1800 422 599 (regional), (02) 9361 8000 (metropolitan)

Recreational drugs

If you use recreational or illicit drugs, it is especially important to let your doctor and nurses know as drugs can affect your anaesthetic during surgery and change the way your body responds to pain medicines. It is important to tell us, so we can give you the right medications. If you use illicit drugs, we have specialist teams who can help you, and advise your medical team how best to help you after surgery. We also need to know if you are on an opioid replacement program.

If it is an emergency, call 000


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