FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 15th, 2016

Rethink Your Drinking: HNHU Launches New Alcohol Awareness Campaign

Simcoe, ON — Over 50 per cent of people in Haldimand and Norfolk drink alcohol above recommended limits. Drinking too much, too often can lead to many unwanted consequences. Even low levels of alcohol can have a significant impact on health.

To help people better understand the connection between alcohol consumption and health, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) is spreading an important message- Rethink Your Drinking. This province-wide campaign offers information on standard drinks, time between drinks, the link between alcohol and chronic disease and how alcohol affects men and women differently.

“Drinking is a personal choice and we aren’t suggesting that everyone stop drinking,” says Agnes Zabinska, public health nurse with the HNHU. “With that in mind, we want those who choose to drink to rethink their drinking and to be aware of information in the Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.” The Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines are designed to help those ages 25-65, who choose to drink decide when, where, why and how; to make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption, and to help create a culture of moderation.

Knowing how much alcohol you are actually drinking is the key to reducing your risk. “Generally, we grossly underestimate just how much we drink, and that is likely due to the fact we don’t know what a standard drink is,” says Zabinska.

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 oz. of 5% beer, 5 oz. of 12% wine or 1.5 oz. of 40% spirits (vodka, rum, gin, etc.) Long-term health risks can be reduced by drinking no more than 10 drinks a week for women; with no more than two drinks most days and 15 drinks a week for men. Individuals should also avoid alcohol at least two days each week.

Alcohol consumption has been found to cause more than 200 different diseases, including several different cancers, and is a leading cause of preventable injury, including traffic accidents.

Rethink Your Drinking is a campaign to help change the way we think about and use alcohol, while addressing the things that matter.  To learn more about safer alcohol use, visit www.rethinkyourdrinking.ca or the Health Unit’s website at hnhu.org.

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Media Contact:
Agnes Zabinska, Public Health Nurse
Community Health Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3208