Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health: Final Report
Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health provides evidence-based advice on alcohol to support people in making informed decisions about their health. The guidance is based on the latest research on alcohol-related risks and replaces Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
The guidance is based on the principle of autonomy in harm reduction and the fundamental idea behind it that people living in Canada have a right to know that all alcohol use comes with risk.
Key points from the guidance include:
- There is a continuum of risk associated with weekly alcohol use where the risk of harm is:
- 0 drinks per week — Not drinking has benefits, such as better health, and better sleep.
- 2 standard drinks or less per week — You are likely to avoid alcohol-related consequences for yourself or others at this level.
- 3–6 standard drinks per week — Your risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer, increases at this level.
- 7 standard drinks or more per week — Your risk of heart disease or stroke increases significantly at this level.
- Each additional standard drink radically increases the risk of alcohol-related consequences.
- Consuming more than 2 standard drinks per occasion is associated with an increased risk of harms to self and others, including injuries and violence.
- When pregnant or trying to get pregnant, there is no known safe amount of alcohol use.
- When breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest.
- No matter where you are on the continuum, for your health, less alcohol is better.