CCSA to Lead Update of Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines

Ottawa, September 17, 2020 — The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is leading a major collaborative initiative to update Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines by March 2022.

The 20-month initiative is being led by CCSA with funding support from Health Canada and will involve key scientific experts, researchers and knowledge mobilization specialists, and representatives from federal, provincial and territorial governments and national organizations.

Canada’s first Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines were developed in 2011 to support Canadians in making informed decisions about their alcohol consumption. The update will bring the guidelines in line with the latest evidence and address the unique needs of specific groups especially at risk from the harms associated with alcohol, such as youth, women, older adults and people with chronic diseases.

The inaugural meeting of the project on Thursday was attended by federal Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu.

Rita Notarandrea, CCSA’s CEO, said: “CCSA is thrilled to lead the initiative to update Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines by March 2022. We thank Minister Hajdu and Health Canada for funding this important project and for entrusting CCSA with its execution.

“The current Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines are a vital tool to support Canadians in assessing their alcohol consumption and in making informed decisions about drinking. Since they were first developed in 2011, the evidence on the impact of alcohol on health and its contribution to social harms has advanced considerably. This update to the guidelines will reflect the most recent evidence available and put Canada on the leading edge of the research.

“The updated guidelines have the potential to form an evidence base for future policy making and public education, but most importantly they will be a real-world tool for Canadians,” she concluded.

CCSA has assembled expert panels, led by co-chairs Dr. Peter Butt, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan, and Dr Catherine Paradis, Senior Research and Policy Analyst, CCSA, to evaluate the latest scientific evidence using an internationally recognized evaluation framework.

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