Awareness and Education
Research shows that awareness and education campaigns can shed light on alcohol related harms. All alcohol reduction activities can be combined with an awareness and education component.
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of many chronic diseases including certain types of cancer.1 In 2015, approximately 280 new cancer cases diagnosed in Alberta were linked to alcohol consumption.1 Responsible alcohol consumption can be positively influenced by our environments. Communities can limit convenient access to alcohol or provide non-alcoholic drink options at community and/or business events, for example.
The Lakeland Centre for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder was created a decade ago to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The group hosts community events that offer great tasting non-alcoholic beverages, called mocktails.
Ways to get started
- Work with interested groups to develop an awareness campaign in conjunction with related local, provincial or national campaigns which take place at a set time each year. Chose a topic area or an activity based on community interest, such as drunk driving, binge drinking. Alternatively, consider raising awareness about the Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines (issued by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction)
- Consider supporting existing local initiatives and campaigns to reduce alcohol use and the harms of drinking and driving.2-4
- Ensure or support staff (including managers, supervisors and security staff) working at liquor store or other settings serving liquor have adequate training (called “ProServe”) for responsible liquor service, in accordance with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC).
- Leverage existing organizations for speakers, resources, and marketing materials for local campaigns. Free, readily available resources are available through Alberta Health Services, Health Canada, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
- Provide support for healthcare provider training as an ongoing part of their educational curriculum
- Consider having individuals with lived experience contribute to campaigns and education.
- Combine awareness and education campaigns around activities and strategies that involve sharing and socializing. Other things to consider:
- Provide food, transportation or childcare for participants attending education sessions
- Create a comfortable and inclusive environment
- Be culturally sensitive and flexible
Evaluation measures the impact of all the hard work that went into developing a community initiative. Evaluating impact examines:
- What you expect to learn or change
- What you measure and report
- How to measure impact
What you expect to learn about awareness and education strategies may include:
- Learning that the strategy was implemented as planned
- Learning that the strategy is reaching those you want to reach
- Increased resources on alcohol awareness available at liquor stores
- Increased training for responsible liquor service occurred
References Alcohol Awareness
References Alcohol Awareness
- Grevers X, Ruan Y, Poirier AE, Walter SD, Villeneuve PJ, Friedenreich CM, Brenner DR. Estimates of the current and future burden of cancer attributable to alcohol consumption in Canada. Preventive Medicine. 2019;122:40-8.
- Albanese S, Bryson J. Let's start a conversation about alcohol in our community: report on alcohol use, harms and potential actions in Thunder Bay District. Thunder Bay (ON): Thunder Bay District Health Unit; 2015. Available from: http://www.tbdhu.com/sites/default/files/files/resource/2016-10/Community%20Report%20on%20Alcohol.pdf.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. Geneva (SW): WHO; 2010. Available from: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/activities/gsrhua/en/.
- Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Health Canada. Reducing alcohol-related harm in Canada: toward a culture of moderation. Ottawa (ON): National Alcohol Strategy Working Group; 2007. Available from: http://www.ccsa.ca/Resource%20Library/ccsa-023876-2007.pdf.
- Committee on Developing a Strategy to Reduce and Prevent Underage Drinking. Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility - National Media Campaign. Vol 2016. Washington (DC): National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) 2004.
- Guide to Community Preventive Services. Preventing Excessive Alcohol Consumption. Excessive Alcohol Consumption 2010; http://www.thecommunityguide.org/alcohol/index.html. Accessed February 18, 2016.