Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

CCSA Releases Communications Toolkit for Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

Toolkit provides an additional way for people to educate themselves, understand the guidelines and share knowledge

Ottawa, September 11, 2018 — Due to their continued popularity, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has released a communications toolkit to promote Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. The toolkit provides the resources to increase awareness and start public discussions about drinking in moderation.

Originally developed in 2011, the primary audience for the Guidelines are adults between the ages of 25 and 65. They currently recommend no more than two drinks a day for women (maximum 10 per week) and three drinks a day for men (maximum 15 per week), with an extra drink allowed on special occasions.

The Guidelines save lives

If all Canadians who consume alcohol were to follow the proposed guidelines, there would be an estimated 4,600 fewer alcohol-related deaths per year (Alcohol and Health in Canada: A Summary of Evidence and Guidelines for Low-Risk Drinking, p. 9).

“The most important thing to remember is that the Guidelines are not targets to meet or strive for,” explains Bryce Barker, knowledge broker at CCSA. “Rather, they serve as guidance to reduce harms for those who choose to consume alcohol.”

Starting a dialogue

People are encouraged to share the toolkit with their family, friends, staff, colleagues, clients and others in the community to help get the conversation started about the Guidelines. As Barker says, “Whether as a healthcare professional talking with a patient or friends and family having a conversation, the Guidelines open the channels of honest communication.”

What is in the communications toolkit?

The toolkit contains graphics and posters that highlight important information about drinking in moderation. The materials include:

  • Drinking tips
  • Posters
  • Banner ads and web buttons
  • Graphics for social media platforms
  • Facts sheets
  • Infographic

Why the Guidelines were developed

A team of independent Canadian and international experts developed Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines on behalf of the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee. The Guidelines are a key component of the National Alcohol Strategy. They have received the support of provincial and territorial health ministers, as well as many respected Canadian health organizations.

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