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Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health
Variety of alcoholic drinks


Alcohol is a normalized part of relaxation, social gatherings, and celebrations. At the same time, alcohol is a psychoactive drug that can contribute to short-term, long-term, and second-hand harms. Knowledge of the impact that alcohol has on individual and community well-being can help to inform personal choices about alcohol consumption.

Short-term harms include:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Falls and injuries

Long-term harms include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • Liver disease
  • Cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and breast
  • Digestive problems
  • Mental health problems

Second-hand harms include:

  • Violence
  • Crime
  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Property damage
  • Family and relationship dysfunction

Guidelines for Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking

When it comes to alcohol, not all drinks are created equal. There are different flavours, different sizes and different amounts of alcohol. If you choose to drink, consider using Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines to help standard size your drink and reduce your risk of alcohol-related harms!

Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:

  • 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day for most days
  • 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days

Reduce your risk of injury and harm by using no more than:

  • 3 drinks (for women) or 4 drinks (for men) on any single occasion

Avoid drinking any alcohol a few days every week. This will help you avoid developing a habit.

People who drink often overpour at home and many restaurants serve more than a standard drink in their glasses or bottles. For Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, a standard serving size beverage is:

  • 341 ml (12 oz) of beer, cider, or cooler (4 to 5% alcohol)
  • 43 ml (1.5 oz) of liquor (40% alcohol)
  • 142 ml (5 oz) of wine (10 to 12% alcohol)

Want to learn more? Check out this short video that explains Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines.

Assess Your Alcohol Use

Try the Saying When App to monitor how much or when you drink.

Getting Help

Looking for help? You are not alone. There are many programs and resources available to support you.

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1) Our offices are temporarily closed to the public to allow us to respond to COVID-19 demands. However, phone lines remain open. The COVID-19 information line is operating 7 days a week (excluding statutory holidays) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. All other program lines are operating Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

2) Returning travellers must self-isolate for 14 days and contact Public Health if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

If you have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days and immediately contact Public Health or your local health care provider if you develop symptoms of COVID-19. Earlier this month all travellers were asked to self-isolated when they returned to Canada. Effective March 25, the federal government made this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable citizens. Each of us must make the responsible decision to follow the advice of health authorities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.