Every drink counts

Every drinks counts

We’re learning more about alcohol and its effects on health.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) recently released updated health safety guidelines for alcohol consumption. After two years of research, this new guide is an updated version of the Low Risk Alcohol Use Guidelines that many of us are familiar with.

Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health provides a new continuum of risk that’s associated with drinking alcohol. It helps people understand the health risk levels of drinking – the more alcohol consumed, the greater the risk of negative health issues like several types of cancer, cardiovascular and liver disease occurring, along with a greater likelihood of violence.

As the amount of alcohol increases, so do the potential health risks. This updated guide informs people about the health risks to help them make informed decisions about their own drinking habits – and make the adjustments to their alcohol consumption that can benefit their health accordingly.

Here are some key points of the updated Guidance on Alcohol and Health:

Low Risk – 2 standard drinks or less per week — You are likely to avoid alcohol-related consequences for yourself or others at this level.

Moderate Risk – 3–6 standard drinks per week represents a moderate health risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.

High Risk – 7 or more standard drinks per week increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. When a person increases that intake, that risk grows higher – more steeply for women than men when they go over six drinks per week.

Every time a person has another standard drink it radically increases the risk of alcohol-related consequences. Get to know the updated health safety guidelines for alcohol consumption.

What about young people?

The average age of initiation to alcohol use in Canada is 13 years old.  When it comes to youth, the risk of these negative health outcomes is much greater, and they should be encouraged to delay alcohol use for as long as possible. Underage use of alcohol can lead to these health risks, and other negative consequences, including risky behaviours, over-consumption, and binge-drinking.

Drinking alcohol, even a small amount, is damaging to everyone, regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, tolerance for alcohol or lifestyle

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction CCSA

There’s never been a better time to talk about #alcohol with your kids.

Need some conversation starters ? We’ve got a few here.

Sober curious?  You’re not the only one.

As we better understand the negative effects of alcohol, social movements like Dry January or 28 Days in February are becoming popular for anyone, young or old, hoping to moderate their drinking for the short term. There are also many online apps and groups that provide support to help people moderate or stop their alcohol consumption completely. 

Alcohol producers as well as many beer, and wine companies now provide alcohol-free versions of their products to people who want to cut back or stop drinking.

For more information on how alcohol affects the body – check out the Alcohol pages.

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