Earlier this year, the British Columbia government released a revised version of Women and Alcohol: A Women’s Health Resource.
This 12-page resource “was written by women for women, to provide useful information about alcohol and to help women make healthy and well-informed choices about alcohol use.”
It has six sections:
- Low Risk Drinking
- Health Risks of Drinking
- Individual Responses to Alcohol
- Considerations for Women
- Supporting Someone Close to You
The update includes information on Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (released in 2011) and recent research on the relationship between alcohol and cancer as well as other chronic diseases. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are discussed in the section on “Considerations for Women.”
The resource complements the Problem Drinking Guidelines and Protocols released by the BC Ministry of Health in 2013 for physicians. Physicians are encouraged to conduct brief interventions related to alcohol use and are able to bill for their time using specific diagnostic codes for this purpose.
The Liquor Distribution Branch (one of two branches of government in British Columbia responsible for the beverage alcohol industry) has developed educational materials about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy, including brochures and posters which are available to health care workers throughout the province.
In September (FASD month), BC Liquor Stores feature signage and brochures in stores to help raise awareness with the tagline “We believe that healthy mothers and babies need everyone’s support. Remember: alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix.”