CVA supports drinking in moderation and responsible wine consumption and plays an active role in preventing excessive consumption and misuse of alcoholic beverages in Canada.
National Alcohol Strategy
The consumption of alcohol can have beneficial or harmful effects depending on the amount consumed, personal characteristics including gender, age, body mass, and other characteristics of the person consuming the alcohol. Moderate wine consumption by adults, as part of a balanced diet, is compatible with a low-risk, healthy lifestyle.
CVA plays an active role in preventing excessive consumption and misuse of alcoholic beverages in Canada. In 2005, CVA joined an expert working group co-chaired by Health Canada, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, and the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission to develop the National Alcohol Strategy.
The resulting report, Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm in Canada: Towards a Culture of Moderation – Recommendations for a National Alcohol Strategy (2007), sets out 41 recommendations to support the development of a culture of moderate alcohol use and to reduce alcohol-related harm.
In 2008, CVA became a member of the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee (NASAC) which was organized to implement, monitor and evaluate the National Alcohol Strategy recommendations. These recommendations focus on four strategic areas for action:
- health promotion, prevention and education
- health impacts and treatment
- availability of alcohol
- safer communities
Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
Canada’s National Alcohol Strategy prioritized the development of national alcohol drinking guidelines to encourage a culture of moderation, while promoting consistency and clarity. CVA represents the beverage alcohol industry on the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Knowledge Exchange Committee, which was tasked to develop and complete Canada’s Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines
For the first time, Canada now has a national set of low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines, endorsed by federal, provincial and territorial health ministers, as well as the Canadian Vintners Association.
These guidelines, have been developed for Canadians of legal drinking age who choose to drink alcohol, and are intended to provide consistent information across the country to help Canadians moderate their alcohol consumption and reduce alcohol-related harm.
Drinking is a personal choice. If you choose to drink, these guidelines can help you decide when, where, why and how.
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Tools
A priority National Alcohol Strategy recommendation to address health impacts and treatment was the development of integrated and culturally sensitive screening, brief intervention and referral tools and strategies. In response to this priority, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, the College of Family Physicians of Canada with unrestricted funds provided by the Canadian Vintners Association, the Beer Canada and Spirits Canada supported the development of a web-based alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Tools (SBIR) as a clinical guide for Canadian family physicians and other health professionals.
The new SBIR web resource offers a three-step alcohol assessment and referral process to help family physicians and other health professionals detect and address harmful alcohol consumption among their patients.
The SBIR resource is a practical, web-based guide, the first of its kind to incorporate Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.
The SBIR website provides access to evidence-based information on how to screen for unhealthy drinking patterns, and if risk is identified, which intervention options and discussion tools are best for doctors to help their patients better manage their alcohol use.