In Canada, there are over 25,000 hospital admissions each year involving alcohol-related conditions (Canadian Institute for Health Information).
The guidelines are based on the best available scientific evidence as summarized in Alcohol and Health in Canada: A Summary of Evidence and Guidelines for Low-Risk Drinking.1 This report was developed following a thorough review of the best available evidence conducted by an independent expert working group with members drawn from Canadian addiction research agencies. This review was also significantly strengthened by a process of international peer review conducted by three invited experts on alcohol epidemiology and feedback from concerned individuals and organizations. Low-risk drinking guidelines—and the resources to promote them—are part of broader, more comprehensive approach to the reduction of alcohol-related harms in Canada: the National Alcohol Strategy.
The guidelines also acknowledge and support personal choices made by many Canadians to not drink alcohol at all, whether for cultural, spiritual, health-related and/or other personal reasons. They are not intended to encourage individuals or communities who choose to abstain from drinking. High-risk groups and situations are also discussed in which either abstinence or extreme caution with alcohol intake is advised, including alcohol use during pregnancy, by youth, in association with high-risk activities (such as driving), and in combination with medication and/or other drugs.
For additional information on the development of the guidelines, see:
Guidelines for Healthcare Providers to Promote Low-Risk Drinking Among Patients Guidelines for Healthcare Providers to Promote Low-Risk Drinking Among Patients is for primary healthcare providers, and is intended to reduce alcohol-related harms through screening, brief intervention and/or referral to specialized services.