Alcohol and Health 'What You Can’t See'

Alcohol. It’s what you can’t see that can cause the most damage.

The ‘What You Can’t See’ Campaign, launched in July 2014, aims to build on the successful ‘Alcohol and Cancer’ campaign which has run since May 2010. 

The campaign expands on the messaging that alcohol causes a range of health harms in both the short and long-term, including cancer, liver disease, heart disease and stroke, and that risk of alcohol-caused disease can be reduced by following the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines on low risk drinking levels.

The campaign aims to increase the personal relevance of the alcohol and health message, with the focus that alcohol can have toxic effects, and with regular drinking a person can increase their risk of a range alcohol-caused diseases, further encouraging people to reduce their risk by having no more than two standard drinks on any day in accordance with the NHMRC guideline for reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime. 1

This campaign was developed by the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO), in partnership with Curtin University (McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth (MCAAY) in partnership with Public Health Advocacy Institute Western Australia (PHAIWA).

Key message

To reduce your risk of alcohol-caused disease, have no more than two standard drinks on any day.

Target group

Adults aged 25 to 54 years.

Research shows that this age group don’t believe they are not susceptible to long-term harm caused by drinking too much over a lifetime, and this campaign aimed to challenge this myth.

Campaign objectives

  • Increase knowledge that harmful alcohol use causes a wide range of long and short-term ill-health conditions and is therefore a significant health issue for people drinking at these levels of use.
  • Increase awareness of the range and volume of alcohol-caused diseases and other problems, including cancer, liver disease, heart disease and stroke.
  • Increase awareness of how to remain at a low-risk of alcohol-caused disease in accordance with the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.


Campaign Video
30 Second 'What you can't see' Television Commercial

Campaign Audio
30 second radio - What you can't see

30 second radio - Cancer

30 second radio - Stroke

30 second radio - Liver disease

Related Information

Alcohol & Your Health

Harmful drinking can occur in the short-term and long-term. NHMRC released guidelines that give advice on minimising health consequences of drinking alcohol.

Alcohol and Your Long-Term Health

Regular and ongoing drinking can cause long term damage to organs

Alcohol and Cancer

The Alcohol and Cancer campaign aims to increase personal relevance of links between alcohol and cancer and focusses on the long-term risks of harmful drinking.

What is a Standard Drink?

It is important to keep track of how much alcohol you drink. A standard drink measures the amount of pure alcohol in a drink not the amount of liquid.


National Health and Medical Research Council 2009, Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, Commonwealth of Australia 2009.

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