Risk Associated with Alcohol Use Per Occasion:
Drinking alcohol has negative consequences.
Consuming more than 2 standard drinks per drinking occasion is associated with an increased risk of harm to self and others, including injuries and violence.
Binge drinking is a common and dangerous way to consume alcohol. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more standard drinks in one setting for men, or 4 or more standard drinks in one setting for women. Binge drinking can result in:
unintentional injuries (road crashes, drowning, falls)
physical and sexual violence
high blood pressure
inflammation of the gastrointestinal system
development of an alcohol use disorder
development of liver disease and certain cancers
Alcohol and Other Substances:
Avoid mixing alcohol with other substances, such as cannabis, medication, illegal substances, or energy drinks. These other substances may interact with alcohol causing unexpected or uncontrollable negative effects. Use one substance at a time.
Alcohol and Cancer:
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. Alcohol is a carcinogen that can cause at least 7 types of cancer, which is often unknown. The common types of cancer from alcohol use are:
Mouth and throat
Drinking less alcohol is among the top 10 behaviours to reduce cancer risk, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Alcohol and Heart Disease:
Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada. The common belief that drinking in moderation protects from coronary artery disease has been updated showing that: drinking a little alcohol neither decreases nor increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease. However, alcohol remains a risk factor for most other types of cardiovascular disease (i.e. hypertension, heart failure, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and hemorrhagic stroke).
Alcohol and Liver Disease:
Alcohol is a main cause of liver disease where fat builds up in the liver. This can be caused by drinking large amounts of alcohol, even for a few days, or from binge drinking episodes. Overtime, alcohol-related liver injuries can lead to life-threatening cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Alcohol and Violence:
Alcohol is associated with and can increase the severity of violent and aggressive behaviour, including intimate partner violence, male-to-female sexual violence, and aggression between adults. Avoiding drinking to intoxication will reduce individuals' risk of alcohol-related violence.