Alcohol consumption is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in Canada. Nearly 15,000 deaths per year can be attributed to alcohol, and more hospitalizations are caused by alcohol than by heart attacks. This is partly due to widespread consumption of alcohol, but evidence shows that alcohol use comes with significant short- and long-term risks, even at low doses and even compared to most illegal drugs. It is clear that alcohol, despite its broad acceptance in our society, is “no ordinary commodity.”
There is a scientific consensus regarding how to reduce alcohol-related harms. Controls on the price, physical availability and marketing of alcohol are particularly high-impact; they are also cost-effective and simple to implement.
This report is part of a series of policy framework documents that review evidence, summarize the current environment and propose evidence-informed principles to guide public policy in Ontario. It updates CAMH’s 2013 Alcohol Policy Framework to reflect and account for new evidence and recent policy developments.
Its purpose is to provide a model for alcohol policies that effectively addresses the health and social harms that often accompany alcohol use and to inform provincial and local initiatives in this area.
While the report targets alcohol policies in Ontario, the information within can help other provinces examine their own principles that guide public policy.
Click here to download the report.