Alcohol is a toxic substance that affects the way we think and behave. It is a depressant that provides a sense of relaxation by slowing down our heart rate, breathing, brain functions, thoughts, and actions. People consume alcohol in drinks such as beer, wine, spirits, and cider. Even though it is legal, alcohol can have harmful health effects.
Avoiding alcohol can provide lots of benefits and can help boost your mood and general health. The way alcohol affects your body depends on factors such as your body weight, your sex, your age, the amount you drink, your past drinking experience, and your overall health.i
Avoiding or even limiting alcohol can help reduce short-term risk and long-term risk of poor health. Some of the benefits include:
Drinking alcohol frequently can increase the risk of cancers of the liver, breast, mouth, throat, colon, and stomach. Evidence shows that the more alcohol a person regularly drinks, the higher their risk of getting an alcohol-associated cancer. As an example, we can prevent around 1,000 cancer cases in 2038 if all Manitobans avoid alcohol, starting today.
For cancer prevention, it is best not to drink any alcohol.
If you do drink alcohol, do not exceed Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines. To help reduce your risk of cancer, the recommendations are to drink:
The definition of a standard drink can vary based on the type of alcohol you are consuming. One drink is equal to:
Do not drink when you are:
Here are some tips that can help you reduce or avoid alcohol:
Alcohol does not affect everyone in the same way, so it’s important to avoid alcohol and drink responsibly. For more support and resources, see below or talk to your healthcare provider.
Addictions Foundation Manitoba: Workshops
Addictions Foundation of Manitoba: Contact
Manitoba Addictions: Helpline
Native Addictions Council of Manitoba: Programs
Northern Health Region: Addiction Services
Klinic: Crisis Line
Shared Health: Mental Health and Wellness Resource Finder
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction: