Date: May 22, 2019

Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Fog patches developing late this evening. Wind southeast 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low 12.

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Healthy Thinking About Drinking

This page was reviewed or revised on Monday, May 15, 2017 8:59 AM

Many adults enjoy a glass of wine, beer or liquor, and, as long as you don't overdo it, alcohol won’t likely hurt your health.

Drinking alcohol may offer heart-health benefits, but alcohol, depending on the amount you consume, may also increase your risk of problems and damage your heart. So how do you tell if your drinking habits are a problem, or if drinking puts your health, or the health of others, at risk?

Canada's Low-risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

Moderation or low-risk drinking helps support healthy lifestyle choices and reduce short and long-term risks associated with alcohol.

If you don't drink, don't start. The risks of alcohol consumption outweigh the benefits. There are many other ways to live healthy: exercise, eat a healthy diet and don't smoke.

Following Canada's Low-risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines can help reduce the risk of most alcohol-related health problems.

Women: No more than 2 standard drinks in a day. No more than 10 standard drinks per week.
Men: No more than 3 standard drinks in a day. No more than 15 standard drinks in a week.

Every week should have at least 2 days without drinking so it does not become a habit. Remember less is always best.

  • Know what a standard drink is. This way you will know how much alcohol you are drinking. Practice measuring out the exact amounts in a glass before you drink.
  • Understanding drink information will help you moderate your consumption.
  • Keep track of how much you drink - per day and per week.
  • Wait at least one hour between drinks.
  • If you host a party and alcohol is served, offer your guests food and non-alcoholic drinks. Make sure everyone has a safe ride home.
  • Work with your family to develop rules about alcohol use: at home, when you are out and when driving or operating other machinery.
  • Be a role model. Talk with important people in your life about the links between alcohol and short and long-term problems.

Do You Have a Drinking Problem?

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you are not alone. About 1 in 5 Ontario adults are problem drinkers; however, adults with drinking problems are not alcoholics. Unlike alcoholics, problem drinkers usually carry out normal daily tasks, go to work and enjoy the company of family and friends; however, many problem drinkers find it difficult to cope without alcohol.

Problem drinkers may feel the need to use alcohol to help deal with difficult situations or to help change their mood. Sometimes, problem drinkers notice they drink too much and their drinking has become a “bad habit” - drinking in the same place, with the same people, day after day.

If alcohol is affecting your life, talk with your doctor. You can also take the CheckYourDrinking survey to help answer questions about your drinking habits, and about possible consequences.

Resources in Lambton County

Addiction Services – Bluewater Health – 519 464-4500 ext. 5370
Withdrawal Management Program - 519-332-4673/ 1-844-778-4673
Alcoholics Anonymous - 519 337-5211
Lambton Public Health - 519 383-8331
Distress Line - 519-336-3000
Family Counselling Centre - 519 336-0120
KIDS Hotline 1-800-668-6868
DART (Drug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment) 1-800-565-8603