Lower Risk Use

Tips to lower risk

Keep track of how much you are drinking.

  • Know your limits. Follow daily and weekly limits in Canada's Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
  • Stay hydrated. Have water in between drinks. Having a glass of water for every glass of alcohol consumed can help people stay hydrated.
  • Plan for a safe way home. Impaired driving under the influence of any substance (i.e., alcohol, cannabis, certain prescription medications) is unsafe and puts people at risk for injury or death. An impaired driving charge can affect your future. For more information, check out what the police have to say.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with other substances (drugs) or energy drinks. Use one substance at a time. Mixing alcohol with medications, caffeine or other substances can have negative effects. Using more than one substance at a time, whether it is alcohol, cannabis or other substances, can increase impairment. This leads to unpredictable changes to how a person thinks, feels, and acts. Mixing drinks that have alcohol with a caffeinated beverage is not recommended because it can be harder for people to recognize the signs of impairment like feeling tired. This can cause people to drink more alcohol and increases risk for dehydration, alcohol poisoning, and alcohol related injury or death.
  • Trust your gut. Have an exit plan before you go out, for example texting someone you trust a code word that means you need to leave if you feel like something is wrong, you are not comfortable, or you are worried something bad is going to happen. Don’t doubt yourself, if you have these feelings, use your exit plan.
  • It is ok to say no. Using substances is a personal choice. Someone may choose not to use substances. ​Use your exit plan if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at a party or event and you choose to leave.

Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (LRDG)

Women should have no more than 10 standard drinks a week, with no more than 2 drinks a day. Men should have no more than 15 standard drinks a week, with no more than 3 drinks a day. These differences occur for many reasons:  females usually weigh less than males have less water in their bodies and digest alcohol differently than males. Use this tool to calculate what's in your glass.

Drinking socially? Check out this link to see how your drink compares when you pour it into a red solo cup.

Here is a diagram about how different types of drinks equal a standard drink:


341 ml (12 oz.)
4-5% alcohol


beer bottle

Mixed Drink

43 ml (1.5 oz.)
40% alcohol
vodka, rum, etc. 


mixed drink

Fortified Wine

85 ml (3 oz.)
16-18% alcohol


fortified wine


142 ml (5oz.)
10-12% alcohol


wine in glass


43 ml (1.5 oz.)
40% alcohol
vodka, rum, etc. 


shot glass


341 ml (12 oz.)
4-5% alcohol


alcoholic cooler

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