drinking guidelines canada

Canada's new alcohol guidelines say we should be drinking less

A new study released this week suggests that consuming over two standard drinks a week is associated with increased risks. 

The study conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), found that three to six standard drinks put drinkers at moderate risk of seven types of cancer.

These risks also include cardiovascular disease, liver disease and also outline the increase in violence. The report also states that the health risks increase more steeply for women.

“The evidence is clear that every drink counts. It's also clear that it's never too late to make changes, any reduction in alcohol use can be beneficial," said Alexander Caudarella, Chief Executive Officer of the CCSA in the report. 

A standard drink is approximately just above 13 grams of "pure" alcohol. This includes a glass of wine or bottle of beer. 

"Health professionals can now better determine an individual’s risk and collaborate with their patients to improve their health.”

This report comes five months after CCSA published new guidlines regarding alcohol consumptions for Canadians, with the new studies reiterating the two drinks per week recommendations.

Currently, CSSA recommends to not exceed two drinks on any day and when pregnant or trying to get pregnant, there is no known safe consumption of any amount of alcohol.

While sober culture is on the rise, with the popularity of dry months, risks and deaths via alcohol consumption have been on the rise.

Lockdowns also attributed to an increase in alcohol consumption, with one in five people consuming five or more drinks "on the days they had consumed alcohol in the previous month."

While drinking also reduced by two-thirds, the increase in drinking habits was attributed to "loneliness" and "isolation", with Ontario seeing the biggest impact (30 per cent.)

StatsCan published a report on Jan., 12 stating that deaths via alcohol have increased between January 2020 to October 2022.

Younger groups made up a disproportionate in regards to alcohol related deaths. In 2021, we saw 3,875 alcohol induced deaths, with a 17 per cent increase since 2019.  

"People have a right to know this information. The concept of a continuum of risk puts power in people’s hands to make their own informed decisions," said Caudarella within the CCSA report.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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