County Health Unit shares Canada’s new guidance on alcohol

The following was submitted by Renfrew County and District Health Unit:

On Tuesday, January 17, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) released Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health, replacing the 2011 Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs).

Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health is based on a scale showing a greater risk of harm with the more alcohol that a person consumes. The new guidance states that consuming more than 2 standard drinks per occasion is associated with an increased risk of alcohol-related harms to oneself and others. It is a decrease in low-risk consumption from the previous LRDGs.

“The main take-away from the new guidelines is that less is better,” states Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Renfrew County and District Health Unit.

Key points from the guidance include:

  • 0 drinks per week – Not drinking has benefits, such as better health and better sleep.
  • 2 standard drinks or less per week – People are likely to avoid alcohol-related consequences for oneself or others at this level.
  • 3 to 6 standard drinks per week – The risk of developing several types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer, increases at this level.
  • 7 standard drinks or more per week – The risk of heart disease or stroke increases significantly at this level.
  • Each additional standard drink – Radically increases the risk of alcohol-related consequences.

A standard drink means:

  • 341 ml or 12 oz of beer at 5% alcohol,
  • 341 ml or 12 oz of cooler, cider, or ready-to-drink, drinks at 5% alcohol,
  • 142 ml or 5 oz of wine at 12% alcohol, or
  • 43 ml or 1.5 oz of spirits (such as whisky, vodka, gin, etc.) at 40% alcohol.

For more information visit and

Renfrew County and District Health Unit(2023,Jan.23) Canada’s New Guidance on Alcohol and Health [media release]

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