The latest publication from the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction is sobering, to say the least. The last time these guidelines were updated was in 2011 when it was reported that safe drinking for women was no more than 10 drinks a week and 15 drinks per week for men. The new report states that 6 or more drinks per week put either group in a moderate to high health risk category and that to be entirely safe no one should drink more than 1-2 drinks per week.
The CCSA stated that having ANY level of alcohol consumption had a negative net impact on every disease reviewed. These included heart disease, several types of cancer and liver cirrhosis.
Is there any good news in these findings? I think so. In my experience, many people struggle with a fair level of ambivalence about their drinking. They ask themselves, “Do I really drink too much?” “Do I have a problem?” “Should I cut back or stop drinking altogether?” Finally, we have solid research and very clear guidelines on which to base a decision. And, an easy explanation for those of us who feel the need to explain why we aren’t drinking. Could it be that some day asking someone why they aren’t drinking is as silly as asking why they aren’t smoking or why they are wearing sunscreen?
Not ready to take the complete plunge into the non-drinking world? Perhaps follow the advice from Dr. Catherine Paradis, interim associate director of the research committee, who told the New York Times, “Alcohol is not good for your health and for those who consume alcohol, drinking less is better”. Dr. Paradis suggests that people begin with small changes such as “substituting a no-or low alcohol beer or non-alcoholic drinks and save two drinks for wine with dinner”. Reducing consumption can be a better option for those looking to moderate.
There is lots to digest here. So to whatever you find in your 5oz standard wine glass these days, may you be safe, happy and healthy.
Margaret is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a Certified She Recovers Coach. She holds a B.A in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Education and has worked in the field of Education for over 30 years.