People from all walks of life use drugs, both legal drugs, such as alcohol, and illegal drugs, such as heroin. While most alcohol and other drug use is not a problem, some people may not use drugs safely. This can create harm to themselves or others including injuries, and infectious and chronic diseases.

Our approach is based on four parts, all of which are needed to be effective:

  1. Prevent or delay the use of alcohol and other drugs by youth.
  2. Provide information and resources on healthy living and how to use alcohol and other drugs more safely.
  3. Support people seeking treatment for alcohol and other drugs.
  4. Support laws and policies that decrease the harms of alcohol and other drug use.

Most adults drink alcohol responsibly or in moderation. However, close to 24% of adults in Toronto drink excessively which can put them or others at risk.

Long-term effects

Excessive drinking can lead to chronic diseases and other medical conditions such as:

  • Cancer of the breast, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Stomach ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Low birth weight

Short-term effects

Potential consequences of drinking alcohol are:

  • Increased risk for injury
  • Impaired co-ordination, judgment, vision
  • Decreased inhibitions
  • Inability to estimate distances and decreased reaction times
  • Drowsiness, dizziness, slurred speech

Know your alcohol limits

Learn how you can minimize your health risks by following Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines. Other safer drinking tips:

  • Consider your age, body weight and health conditions that might suggest lower limits.
  • Drink slowly with no more than 2 drinks in 3 hours; do not “chug” your drinks or play drinking games.
  • Avoid binge drinking.
  • Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs or energy drinks.
  • Alternate an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic one; do not mix alcohol with energy drinks.
  • Eat before and while drinking.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Don’t drink if you’re pregnant or planning to be.
  • Plan non-drinking days every week.

Find out what your alcohol related health risk is by taking the Alcohol Reality Check.

Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines provide adults, ages 25 to 65 who choose to drink, information on alcohol and related health risks so that they can make an informed choice about drinking.


Learn how to make fun and tasty non-alcoholic drinks for your next party.

Merry Lime Berry


  • Ice
  • 1 oz mashed raspberries
  • 1/8 fresh lime
  • 4 oz sparkling water
  • Lime slice


  1. Fill tall glass with ice.
  2. Mix 1 oz mashed raspberries, the juice of 1/8 fresh lime and 4 oz sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with slice of lime.

Mock Champagne


  • Ice
  • 1 oz club soda
  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz white grape juice


  1. Fill tall glass with ice.
  2. Mix 1 oz chilled club soda, 1 oz chilled pineapple juice and 1 oz chilled white grape juice.
  3. Stir and enjoy.