One of the behaviours people engage in to cope and to feel better is alcohol consumption. Consumption degrees take into account two questions: 1) typical number of drinks per week? and 2) on the days a person drinks alcohol, how many drinks are consumed? Levels vary from:

  • social;
  • regular - a few drinks a week;
  • binge - over 4 units in one occasion for males and over 3 units for females;
  • heavy - men who have 15+ units/week and women who have 8+ units/week and at increased risk for liver disease, cancer, and substance dependency;

On an average night 3 or less units of alcohol in a day for men2, and 2 or less for women2 indicate low-risk. The lowest risk for all causes of mortality due to alcohol is under 12 units a week for men1 and under 10 for women2. However, low-risk does not mean no-risk.

Please note this content is for educational purposes only and is not a measure for clinical diagnosis or for medical decisions. Always talk to a healthcare provider for medical advice.


  1. The Lancet, Published April 2018 - Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599 912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies
  2. Canadian Center on Substance Abuse