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News Release

Rethink your drinking in Durham Region

WHITBY, ON February 23, 2017 - Durham Region Health Department is encouraging area residents to “Rethink Your Drinking”, as part of a province-wide campaign that looks at alcohol consumption. The campaign reminds people of Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines, standard drink sizes and also, that drinking alcohol may come with health risks.

“Drinking is a personal choice and we’re not suggesting that everyone stop drinking,” said Chris Arnott, a public health nurse with Durham Region Health Department. “However, if you choose to drink, reflect on your pattern of drinking and drink size, and follow the recommendations outlined in Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines.” These guidelines recommend that:

  • Women consume no more than two drinks per day and no more than 10 drinks per week.
  • Men consume no more than three drinks per day and no more than 15 drinks per week.
  • Plan for at least two drink-free days per week to avoid a habit.

“Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines set limits, not goals.” explained Ms. Arnott. “The guidelines have daily limits, so it doesn’t work to save all of your drinks for the weekend.”

The guidelines also indicate that knowing how much alcohol you are actually drinking is important to reducing your risk, as the amount of alcohol can vary from one alcoholic beverage to the next. A standard drink contains 13.6 grams of pure alcohol which is equal to 12 ounces of five per cent beer, five ounces of 12 per cent wine, or 1.5 ounces of 40 per cent spirits. However, a typical glass of wine sometimes contains more than the amount of two standard drinks.

According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, in Durham Region more than fifty per cent of adults exceed the limits set out by Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines and one in five adults are heavy drinkers. Research shows that drinking too much or too often can lead to immediate harms such as impaired driving, alcohol poisoning, and assaults, problems with work and school, and risky sexual behaviour. Long-term health effects can also include liver cirrhosis, heart disease and seven types of cancer. 

For individuals concerned about the risk for cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society has created a set of alcohol and cancer prevention guidelines that outlines even lower limits for alcohol consumption including:

  • Less than one standard drink a day for women.
  • Less than two standard drinks a day for men.

“We live in a culture that normalizes alcohol as being a part of everyday life”, said Ms. Arnott. “The Rethink Your Drinking campaign is intended to help us reflect on how much and how often we’re drinking alcohol.” 

For more information about alcohol and your health, please visit or


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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:
Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999, or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.