Lower Risk Alcohol Use

Last revised: March 13, 2024

If you choose to drink, follow Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health 2022. They can help you reduce short and long-term risks. 

There is no differentiation for the amount consumed between women and men. Drinking alcohol can have negative consequences. The more alcohol you drink per week, the more the consequences add up.

Alcohol consumption per week
Number of DrinksRisk LevelBenefits
0 drinks per week No risk Better health and sleep
1-2 standard drinks per week Low risk Avoid alcohol-related consequences for yourself and others
3-6 standard drinks per week Moderate risk Increased risk of developing several different types of cancer
7+ standard drinks per week Increasingly high risk Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
Each additional standard drink Increasingly high risk Radically increases risk of alcohol-related consequences

For more information, visit the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) webpage. 

Follow the low-risk drinking tips to lower your risks 

The lower-risk drinking tips include:

  • Plan non-drinking days every week. Consider your age, body weight and health problems as these factors might suggest lowering limits.
  • Stick to the limits you’ve set for yourself
  • Drink slowly and eat before and while you are drinking.
  • For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with other substances (drugs), use one substance at a time.  
  • Know what percentage of alcohol (%) is in your drink. And incorporate non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person’s ability to drive.  In Canada, the Criminal Code BAC limit is 0.08%.

When to reach out for support from a health professional in relation to your alcohol use:

  • If you have questions about your alcohol consumption.
  • If you are questioning your relationship with alcohol or are concerned about your alcohol consumption, or if someone else has voiced concerns about your alcohol consumption.
  • If you are living with Addictions, or Substance Use Health conditions.
  • If you are living with Mental Health, or Physical Health conditions.
  • If you are planning to become pregnant or currently pregnant

Support is available. Visit:  

  • AccessMHA.ca,a simple new single point of entry to eastern Ontario’s system of care for mental health and addictions
  • 1call1click.ca, a simple way for children, youth and families to access the right mental health and addiction care, at the right time.

For more information on resources, programming and treatment on mental health and substance use health, please visit Mental Health, Addictions and Substance Use Health Services and Resources webpage.
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