AHS Weekly Wellness: Reduce Alcohol for your Health

When you drink alcohol, you may be putting your health and safety at risk.

Your risk of harm increases with each drink that you have. And your risk of harm increases with how often you drink at amounts above the low-risk drinking guidelines, even if you do this only now and then.

Drinking alcohol may:

  • Harm your liver, pancreas, nervous system, heart, and brain.

  • Cause high blood pressure, depression, stomach problems, or sexual problems.

  • Contribute to the development of some cancers, such as cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast.

  • Cause memory loss and affect your ability to think, learn, and reason.

  • Cause harm to your developing baby (fetus) if you drink during pregnancy.

  • Lead to problems at work, school, or home.

  • Increase the risk of car crashes and violent behaviour.

  • Cause you to develop an alcohol use problem.

In general, limit how much you drink. You can reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than Canadian health experts recommend:

  • If you’re a man, have no more than 3 standard drinks a day on most days and no more than 15 drinks a week.

  • If you’re a woman, have no more than 2 standard drinks a day on most days and no more than 10 drinks a week.

If you choose to drink, keep the amount of alcohol you drink within the recommended limits. Drinking at the upper limits should only happen once in a while, not every day or week. Plan non-drinking days every week to avoid developing a habit.

Keep in mind that a safe amount of alcohol for one person may be too much for another. Because of things like age, sex, weight, and health history, alcohol can affect people differently.