Alcohol and recreational drug use


Excessive alcohol consumption

Drinking too much of any type of alcohol can increase your blood pressure and contribute to the development of heart disease and stroke.

If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to small amounts, pace yourself and drink plenty of water at the same time. [Note: New low-risk drinking guidelines have been released and are being reviewed.]

* Do not drink when you are driving a vehicle, taking medications or other drugs that interact with alcohol, pregnant or are planning to be pregnant, making important decisions, doing any kind of dangerous physical activity, living with alcohol dependence or mental or physical health problems, or responsible for the safety of others. If you are concerned about how drinking may affect your health, talk to your doctor.

Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines

If you choose to drink, Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines can help you decide when, where, why and how to reduce your immediate and long-term alcohol-related harm. You should not adjust your drinking habits or begin to drink for health benefits without consulting your healthcare provider. [Note: New low-risk drinking guidelines have been released and are being reviewed.]

Recreational drug use

Using these recreational drugs can increase your risk of having a stroke and developing heart disease:

  • amphetamines
  • cannabis or marijuana
  • cocaine
  • ecstasy (MDMA)
  • opioids
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • PCP (phencyclidine)

The risk of having a stroke is six times higher in drug users than non-drug users. And, in many cases when a stroke occurs, it happens within hours of drug use.

Related information

Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines 

E-cigarettes in Canada

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