We’ve all seen these memes right? On the surface they’re lighthearted and funny; but on a deeper level they can be part of a larger problem that makes light of alcohol use as a coping tool.⁠

Did you know the Canadian Low Risk Alcohol Consumption guidelines changed recently? ⁠

The new guidelines define alcohol related risk as:⁠
-Negligible-to-low for people who have 2 standard drinks or less/week⁠
-Moderate for those who have between 3 and 6 standard drinks/week⁠
-Increasingly high for those who have more than 6 standard drinks/week.⁠

In other words, the lowest risk alcohol consumption is now considered to be no more than two alcoholic drinks per week. If this is not a realistic goal for you, focusing on less alcohol overall is a great place to start. Can you go from 10 drinks/week to 5?⁠

Chronic alcohol use in the high risk category can contribute to serious health issues such as liver disease, breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis to name a few. Not to mention alcohol negatively impacts mental health, making both anxiety and depression worse over the long term.⁠

Alcohol can be used safely and in moderation. Setting some boundaries for your drinking is a good place to start. ⁠

Some possible boundaries you may consider:⁠
-Only consume alcohol on the weekends or pre-defined weekdays⁠
-Only consume alcohol in a social setting, no solo drinks⁠
-Use alcohol for times of celebration or joy, not to blunt negative emotions⁠

If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption and need support in cutting back or quitting, please discuss with your health care provider and/or family doctor.

~ Guest post by Dr. Phillippa “Pip” Houghton (@makingmamawell)