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Alcohol - Information for Healthcare Providers

Either directly or indirectly, alcohol use affects many Canadians.  As a healthcare provider, you are in a unique position to make a big difference in the lives of your patients:

  • Ask about alcohol use
  • Advise on the short/long-term physical, mental, emotional and social risks
  • Assess readiness to make a change with their use
  • Assist in strategies to optimize their health and wellbeing in regards to alcohol
  • Arrange for additional support

Point of Care Tools


Programs and Services

  • Connex Ontario
    Connex Ontario (1-800-565-8603) provides free, confidential health services for people living with substance use problems. A live operator is available 24/7 who can connect your patient with programs in your local community.
  • Heartspace
    Heartspace, a program offered through Addiction Services of Thames Valley, is a specialized prevention, early identification, education, and treatment program for women who are pregnant, parenting and substance-involved and their children (prenatal – 6 years of age).

Key Documents/Best Practice Guidelines/References

  • SOGC Alcohol Use and Pregnancy Consensus Clinical Guidelines
    These clinical guidelines were developed to establish national standards of care for the screening and recording of alcohol use and counselling on alcohol use of women of child-bearing age and pregnant women based on the most up-to-date evidence.
  • CanFASD
    The Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD) is an interdisciplinary research network, with collaborators, researchers and partners across the nation. It is Canada’s first comprehensive national Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) research network.

Patient Handouts

  • Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
    These guidelines provide adults, ages 25 to 65 who choose to drink alcohol, with information about: how to reduce your long-term health risks, how to reduce your risk of injury and harm and when it is important not to drink.
  • Rethink Your Drinking
    Emphasizes that we are not asking people to stop drinking … instead we want them to “Rethink Your Drinking”, and gradually reduce the amount of alcohol you consume as part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Check Your Drinking
    This survey is anonymous and has been designed to help answer questions about drinking. It's quick, easy, and free.
  • Video Series - Teens and Substance Misuse
    These videos highlight information about talking to teens about alcohol and other drugs, factors that put teens at risk for alcohol and other drug use, signs of alcohol and other drug use in teens, risks for teens of using alcohol and other drugs, what to do if you suspect a teen is using alcohol or other drugs, setting boundaries and consequences for teens regarding alcohol and other drugs.
Date of creation: June 15, 2017
Last modified on: April 26, 2019