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Low Risk Drinking is a term used to describe a way of life for an individual who makes informed decisions regarding why, when, where and how they consume alcohol in order to reduce their risk of illness and injury.


The goal is to minimize the risks associated with alcohol. The Low Risk Drinking Guidelines were developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse using the best available scientific research and evidence.


Below is a table that can be used as a quick reference guide, however, the guidelines do not apply to everyone, click for more details as to whom the guidelines may apply: Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG) Website.


 0  zero drinks = lowest risk of an alcohol-related problem
 10  drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks on most days
 15  drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks on most days

Facts about Alcohol

The following are some key points about alcohol to explore and share with your client.  Subsequent discussion may help the Brief Health Counselling progress.


 Did you know that:
  •  In Canada, the most commonly used drug is alcohol.
  • It takes about 90 minutes for your body to absorb and eliminate one standard drink.
  • Youth have lower rates of health related problems but higher rates of alcohol related injuries and death.
  • Your risk of head injuries increases as your blood alcohol level increases.
  • A driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.10% is 50 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a driver with a 0 blood alcohol level.
  • People who have been drinking are more likely to intentionally hurt others, or to have violence inflicted on them.



The short term effects of alcohol include:

  • visual impairment
  • impaired judgment
  • a decreased ability to focus and concentrate
  • reduced capacity to process information and make decisions
  • reduced reaction time
  • reduced fine motor control
  • alcohol poisoning


The long term effects of alcohol include:

  • increased risk of chronic liver disease
  • heart disease including stroke and high blood pressure
  • several forms of cancer including but not exclusive to: liver, esophageal, throat, mouth, colon and rectum damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems

*There is no safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy



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