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Can Ontario do better? New summary report provides recommendations for reducing alcohol-related harms and costs

By Monica Nunes, CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre

Last month, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) released a new report called Reducing Alcohol-Related Harms and Costs in Ontario: A Provincial Summary Report to encourage greater uptake of evidence-informed prevention and policy initiatives to reduce alcohol-related harms. In this report, the authors highlight policy strengths and weaknesses across provinces in Canada with a focus on Ontario. This report is a follow up to a larger national study released in March 2013 at CAMH.

In comparison to other provinces in Canada, the report notes strengths in several of Ontario's alcohol policy areas. However, to assist Ontario communities and decision-makers in reducing alcohol-related harms, the report identifies 10 evidence-based approaches to support improvements in this area. These approaches relate to the pricing of alcohol, the physical availability of alcohol, marketing and advertising, the legal drinking age, screening and referrals and server training. These recommendations can be read in full in the report Reducing Alcohol-Related Harms and Costs in Ontario: A Provincial Summary Report.

CAMHreportReducing Alcohol-Related Harms and Costs in Ontario is timely. According to recent Ontario data from the CAMH Monitor eReport: Addiction and Mental Health Indicators Among Ontario Adults, 1997-2007, almost 5% of Ontario drinkers drink alcohol each day and approximately 22% of Ontario drinkers consume above the Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines. Harms related to alcohol consumption are often experienced at a local level, directly affecting communities, roadways and neighbourhoods with significant economic and health impacts.

If you are interested in finding out more about what can be done at a local level related to alcohol policy, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre, in partnership with Public Health Ontario, will be releasing a new resource at the end of July called Making the Case: Tools for Supporting Local Alcohol Policy in Ontario. Stay tuned to HC Link for more information and find out how you can receive a free hard copy!

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