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Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

CCSA is excited to have received funding from Health Canada to lead an initiative to update Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDG). The updated guidelines will provide Canadians information to make well-informed and responsible decisions about their alcohol consumption. They will address the unique needs of specific target groups that are particularly at risk, such as youth, women and people with chronic diseases. We expect to release the new guidelines in 2022.

For more information about this project, please contact the project coordinator at llevett@ccsa.ca.

LRDG Public Consultation

Public Consultation: Updating Canada's Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

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The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) CCSA is seeking feedback from all Canadians, including members of the general public, professionals and organizations, to inform an update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs). The online consultation is open from March 8 to April 18 for the public’s view, opinions and reflections about the current guidelines.

Canada’s LRDGs were released in November 2011. Since then, new evidence on diseases and death caused by alcohol has been published. At the same time, some research has shown that drinking alcohol can also contribute to social harms such as sexual violence and harms to others.

Countries like the United Kingdom and Australia have recently updated their guidelines to reduce health risks from the use of alcohol. In July 2020, with the support of Health Canada, CCSA was mandated to update the Canadian guidelines by March 2022. The updated guidelines will help Canadians make well-informed and safer decisions about their use of alcohol. The updates will also aim to address the unique needs of Canadians who are at higher risk of experiencing alcohol-related harms, such as youth, women, lower income populations and those with chronic diseases.

The online consultation will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, depending on how much input you would like to provide. Participation is voluntary and anonymous.

Your confidential and anonymous input is needed to help understand:

  • Whether and how Canadians are using the current alcohol drinking guidelines; 
  • What is missing or not considered in the current guidelines; 
  • What works well in the current guidelines; and 
  • What your needs and expectations are for the updated guidelines. 

Your feedback will help us learn about the experiences of the general public and stakeholders with the current LRDGs and their needs and expectations for updated guidelines. The findings of the consultation will be summarized in a report and made available on our website.

The invitation is for all Canadians to share their ideas and experiences including: 

  • Members of the general public with an interest in health and alcohol use; 
  • Professionals with an interest in the alcohol industry, health, health promotion, health research, and health monitoring or surveillance, including health professionals and educators;
  • Representatives of organizations from various sectors, including:
    • Government
    • The alcohol industry (from producers to manufacturers and retailers)
    • Civil society and community groups working in areas related to alcohol prevention
    • Public health professionals and organizations
    • Research and academia
    • The armed forces

Join In: How to Participate

To participate in this consultation please complete the survey.

The survey will be available to the public and stakeholders for six weeks, between March 8 and April 18.

Related Information

For more information about CCSA, the LRDGs and our mandate, please visit:

https://www.ccsa.ca/
https://www.ccsa.ca/research-alcohol
https://www.ccsa.ca/lrdg-project-2022
https://www.ccsa.ca/lrdg-project-2022#lrdg-public-consultation-faqs

Contact Us

Project Coordinator: Lauren Levett (llevett@ccsa.ca)
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
75 Albert St., Suite 500
Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7

 

LRDG Public Consultation FAQs

Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines Public Consultation FAQs

What are Canada’s current Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines?

  1. Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days, and 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days.
  2. Reduce your risk of injury and harm by drinking no more than 3 drinks (for women) or 4 drinks (for men) on any single occasion. Plan to drink in a safe environment.
  3. Zero is the limit when:
    • Driving a vehicle or using machinery and tools
    • Taking medicine or other drugs that interact with alcohol
    • Doing any kind of dangerous physical activity
    • Living with mental or physical health problems 
    • Living with alcohol dependence
    • Pregnant or planning to be pregnant 
    • Responsible for the safety of others
    • Making important decisions
  4. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or about to breastfeed, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.
  5. Youth should delays drinking. If they choose to drink, they should do so under parental guidance; never more than 1–2 drinks at a time, and never more than 1–2 times per week. Youth in their late teens to age 24 years should never exceed the daily limits.

Why are Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines being updated?

Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines were originally published in November 2011. Since then, the evidence on the association between drinking alcohol and physical, mental and social harms has evolved. Many countries, including the U.K. and Australia, have updated their guidance on drinking to reflect these advancements in what we know about the risks and benefits associated with alcohol. In July 2020, with the support of Health Canada, CCSA was mandated to update the Canadian guidelines by March 2022. We want Canadians to have the latest evidence-based advice on alcohol to support them in making informed decisions about its use.

When is the public consultation open?

The first public consultation will open on March 8, 2021 and run for 6 weeks until April 18, 2021.

Who can take part in this public consultation?

This consultation is open to all Canadians. We particularly want to hear from:

  • Members of the general public with an interest in health and alcohol use
  • Professionals with an interest in the alcohol industry, health, health promotion, health research, and health monitoring or surveillance, including  health professionals and educators
  • Representatives of organizations from various sectors, including:
    • Government
    • The alcohol industry (from producers to manufacturers and retailers)
    • Civil society and community groups working in areas related to alcohol prevention
    • Public health professionals and organizations
    • Research and academia
    • The armed forces

How do I take part?

The Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines public consultation will be hosted on CCSA’s website. It is a short multiple-choice survey with 20 questions that should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The first public consultation will open on March 8, 2021 and run for 6 weeks until April 18, 2021.

How will you use the feedback from this public consultation?

Your feedback will help us learn about the experiences of the general public and stakeholders with the current Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and their needs and expectations for updated guidelines, namely:

  • Whether and how Canadians are using the current alcohol drinking guidelines;
  • What are some of the challenges to using the current guidelines; 
  • What is most useful in the current guidelines; and 
  • What your needs and expectations are for the updated guidelines.

Your information will be used to help inform the update to the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. The findings of the consultation will be summarized in a report and made available on our website.

I’m worried about confidentiality. How will you use my data?

The information you provide for this consultation is completely confidential and anonymous. It will only be used for the purpose of informing the update to the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. It is up to you how much or how little information you choose to contribute. You have the option of providing us with your email address if you would like to be updated on the project.

Related Information

For more information about CCSA, the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and our mandate, please visit:

https://www.ccsa.ca/

https://www.ccsa.ca/research-alcohol

https://www.ccsa.ca/lrdg-project-2022

 

Contact Us

Project Coordinator: Lauren Levett (llevett@ccsa.ca)
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
75 Albert St., Suite 500
Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7

Project Background

Project Background

Since the original release of Canada’s LRDGs in November 2011, new evidence has been uncovered on alcohol-related mortality and morbidity. Research has also evolved on how drinking alcohol contributes to social harms. Other countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, recently updated their guidelines to reduce the health risks of alcohol consumption.

The LRDG update will be the result of a collaborative process among CCSA, scientists, knowledge mobilization specialists and representatives of various Canadian organizations, including Health Canada. The process will be consensual and based on co-operation. It will also be voluntary and flexible. All parties will participate with equal status and the expression of each parties’ points of views will be encouraged.

 

Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents

Document name Date published Description
Update of Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Terms of Reference 2021 Outlines the terms of reference for the initiative to update Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Guidelines. Includes information on the project scope, governance, scientific expert panels, and roles and responsibilities.

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