Browse COVID-19 resources from partners and CCSA experts – trusted sources for your information and research needs.

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 people living in Canada with information to make well-informed and responsible decisions about their alcohol consumption. We expect to release the new guidelines in fall 2022.

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

Public and Stakeholder Consultations

Public and Stakeholder Consultations

People living in Canada should have access to the latest evidence-based advice on alcohol to support them in making informed decisions about its useevidence about alcohol to make informed decisions about alcohol use. They should also have opportunities to have their voices heard and share what matters to them when it comes to their health, well-being and alcohol consumption. Consulting with the public, professionals and organizations concerned with alcohol, health and well-being throughout the guideline development process is key to ensuring the updated Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines meet the diverse needs of people and organizations in Canada, and are accessible to all.

ON NOW: Consultation on the Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Final Report

The Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Final Report has been released for a consultation as of Aug. 29, 2022.

This consultation is to ensure the readability, clarity and validity of the final products. CCSA is seeking comments from people in Canada on the Public Summary, the Technical Summary and the Technical Report, which are available in a single document . Feedback can be provided in our short, online survey.

This report has been guided by a public health perspective with a focus to provide people living in Canada with the latest evidence-based advice on alcohol to support them in making informed decisions about its use.

We thank you for your participation and look forward to receiving your comments.

Read the report and take the survey now! The consultation will close on Sept. 23, 2022.

A range of inputs was considered in updating the LRDGs:

  • Global evidence review on the effects of alcohol on health
  • Mathematical modelling of the lifetime risk of death and disability for various levels of alcohol consumption
  • Rapid review on alcohol and mental health
  • Rapid review on alcohol and violence
  • Comprehensive multipart review of recent literature on women’s health and alcohol
  • Summary of Evidence on Understanding and Response to Alcohol Consumption Guidelines
  • Public consultation to hear what alcohol, health and well-being issues matter most and what is most useful to people living in Canada
  • Interviews with representatives from different health-related organizations that have an interest in alcohol-related issues.

These reports, available on the CCSA website, have been released for background information to assist respondents in preparing their submission. These reports are for background information only and are not subject to the consultation.

Public Consultation on the Current Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

CCSA held a six-week, online public consultation on the current Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs) between March 8 to April 18 2021. The scope of this consultation was to understand the experiences of people in Canada with the current Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and their needs and expectations for updated guidelines. It was open to all people in Canada including the general public, professionals and representatives from organizations with an interest in alcohol, health and well-being.

At total of 4,846 people from every province and territory across Canada completed the online consultation questionnaire. CCSA’s report, Update of Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Summary of Findings from Public Consultation, outlines how the consultation was conducted and what we heard.  

Consultations with Representatives of Health Organizations

CCSA held virtual focus groups with representatives from public health organizations, professional associations, mental health and addictions organizations, organizations that treat chronic disease, counsellors and treatment providers, and individuals with lived or living experience of substance use. The goal was to obtain their perspective on people living in Canada’s familiarity and understanding of Canada’s LRDGs and related issues. The focus groups also discussed specific messaging and communication strategies that could increase awareness of the LRDGs among various target groups, like youth and women.

A total of 48 representatives participated in the focus groups. The results informed discussions about presenting the conclusions of the LRDG update. Read the report: Commissioned Report: Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Summary of Stakeholder Focus Groups.

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

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 Open Consultation FAQs

Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines Consultation: FAQs

We are updating the 2011 Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs) to ensure that people in Canada have the latest evidence-based advice on alcohol to support them in making informed decisions about its use.

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

Canada’s current LRDGs were developed in 2011 to increase awareness and start public discussions about drinking in moderation. The guidelines are intended for individuals aged 25 to 65 years who choose to drink. They also provide information on how to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm.

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

Canada’s LRDGs were originally published in November 2011. Since then, substantial new research on the association between alcohol use and physical, mental and social effects has been completed. Many countries 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 fall 2022.

Who can take part in this public consultation?

The Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Consultation is accessible to everyone in Canada.

When and where does the consultation take place?

The consultation is available from Aug. 29, 2022. and runs for four weeks until Sept. 23, 2022.

It is hosted on CCSA’s website and features key documents and a multiple-choice survey with 28 questions. Visit CCSA’s website or go directly to the survey form.

How will CCSA use the feedback from this consultation?

Your input will be used to:

  • Ensure the readability and clarity of the updated LRDGs
  • Ensure the validity of the updated LRDGs

Edits will be made to the final products if there is compelling evidence to do so.

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 Australia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands,the United Kingdom and United States, 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.

 

Process to Date

Process to Date

The project to update Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs) began in July 2020 and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022. This diagram provides an outline of the process being followed to perform the update, with notes on the progress of the project to date.

Click the links in the diagram for more information and to access supporting documents. The steps in the process outlined in the diagram are summarized below:

  • Source guidelines: Summary of the current Canadian LRDGs, the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines and the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol.
  • Disclosure of Affiliations and Declaration of Interests: List of affiliations, and financial and intellectual interests from the past three years for members of the Executive Committee and the Scientific Expert Panels.
  • Terms of Reference: Outline of the terms of reference for the Executive Committee and Scientific Expert Panels, including information on the project scope, governance and roles and responsibilities.
  • Prioritize research questions: The process used to develop the research questions to support the update of the LRDGs.
  • Evaluate Canadian, U.K. and Australian guidelines: Evaluation of the methodological quality of the current Canadian LRDGs, the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines and the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol.
  • Public consultation on the LRDGs: A summary of Canadians’ experiences with the current LRDGs and their needs and expectations for updated guidelines, based on responses from 4,845 participants.
  • Evidence on Understanding and Response to Alcohol Guidelines: Update of the evidence review, originally produced by the 2016 United Kingdom alcohol guideline group, to determine how people understand and respond to official public health guidance.
  • Stakeholder consultation on the LRDGs: Summary of targeted consultations with key stakeholders (youth, women, Indigenous peoples, health professionals), and their specific needs and implementation requirements for updated guidelines.
  • Public consultations on final reports: Consultations to establish whether the recommended LRDGs are simple and easy to understand, as well as to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the evidence used to develop the guidelines. 

 

This diagram will be updated regularly to reflect progress on the project.

 

Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents

Document name Date published Description
Lifetime Risk of Alcohol-Attributable Death and Disability 2022 Examines the lifetime risk of death and disability for various levels of alcohol consumption.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Overview of Reviews of the Association Between Alcohol Use and Aggression and Violence 2022 A review of the association between alcohol use and violence, including patterns of drinking, as it relates to perpetration of and victimization by aggression.
Effect of Alcohol Consumption on the Development of Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal Ideation: Update of a Systematic Review 2022 Assesses the link between alcohol consumption and the development of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.
Commissioned Report: Update on Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Summary of Stakeholder Focus Groups 2022 Summarizes findings of eight virtual focus groups conducted with CCSA stakeholders. Groups explored the familiarity and understanding of current LRDGs, knowledge mobilization and understanding of standard drink recommendations.
Sex, Gender and Alcohol: What Matters for Women in Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines? 2022 Reviews research on the effects of alcohol through a sex and gender lens. With a focus on women, it examines the sex-specific effects of alcohol on male and female bodies.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Final Report for Public Consultation 2022 Summarizes worldwide evidence reviews, mathematical modelling, consultations and discussions. It aims to provide people in Canada with accurate, up-to-date information about the risks and harms associated with the use of alcohol. Includes the public overview and technical report.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Evidence Review Technical Report  2022 Reviews and updates the evidence on the effects of alcohol use on physical health, mental health and social harms. The report is intended for those interested in understanding the process followed in developing new alcohol consumption guidelines.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Disclosure of Affiliations and Interests 2021 This declaration of interests is a list of affiliations, and financial and intellectual interests from the past three years for members of the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guideline Executive Committee and the Scientific Expert Panels.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Summary Evidence on Understanding and Response to Alcohol Consumption Guidelines 2021 This is an update of the evidence review produced for the 2016 United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers alcohol guidelines group, to determine how people understand and respond to official public health guidance.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Summary of Findings from Public Consultation  2021 Summary of Findings from Public Consultation product description with, "A summary of Canadians’ experiences with the current LRDGs and their needs and expectations for updated guidelines, based on responses from 4,845 participants. 
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.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Source Guidelines 2021 Summarises the current Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Evaluation of Selected Guidelines 2021 Report presents evaluations of the current Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (2011), and guidelines from the United Kingdom (2016) and Australia (2020) using a standard instrument, the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Development of Research Questions 2021 Outlines the research questions to support the update of the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and the process used to develop them.
Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines: Process and Timelines 2021 Interactive diagram providing an overview of the process to update Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and the progress of the project. This document is updated regularly.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience possible on our website. 

You can change your cookie settings in your web browser at any time. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive cookies from our website. Review our Privacy Notice for more information.