NL Government: Provincial Alcohol Action Plan Aims to Reduce Alcohol Harms

Press Release

July 5, 2022

The Provincial Government today released the Provincial Alcohol Action Plan: Reducing Alcohol Harms and Costs in Newfoundland and Labrador. The plan focuses on prevention, screening, brief intervention, referral and treatment and includes 13 actions to be competed by March 2026. The plan can be viewed here.

Alcohol use is linked to over 200 health conditions ranging from liver diseases to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, brain development in fetuses leading to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, as well as deaths by suicide and injuries due to motor vehicle accidents. This province ranks the highest in Canada for heavy drinking rates and impaired driving which have significant negative health, societal and financial consequences. The plan also recognizes the social determinants of health and their impact on individuals, families and communities including intergenerational trauma and the approach needed by all systems to continue to strive for equitable access to foster healing and health.

Consultations were completed with the Towards Recovery Indigenous Health Team, which includes representatives from health leaders from Nunatsiavut Government, Mushuau Innu First Nation, Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, NunatuKavut Community Council, Qalipu First Nation, and Miawpukek First Nation. Further consultations were conducted with the Alcohol Action Plan working group, Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council and the Recovery Council which includes representatives from across Newfoundland and Labrador.

In June 2017, the Provincial Government released Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador to guide the transition of the provincial mental health and addictions system to one that is person-centered, trauma-informed and recovery-oriented. One of its recommendations was the development of a provincial alcohol action plan. The delivery of this plan represents the completion of the last of the 54 recommendations set out in Towards Recovery.

Implementation of this plan will be overseen by a Provincial Alcohol Action Plan working group with annual reporting based on indicators such as alcohol sales, consumption rates, alcohol-related deaths and injury, hospitalizations, and treatment wait times. There will also be regular reporting to the Provincial Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council and Recovery Council. The data will help inform evidence-based decision making, with particular emphasis on social determinants of health and populations that face higher risk for alcohol-related harms.

“For many people who use alcohol, their use does not lead to dependence or adverse consequences. However, this may not be the case for everyone. This plan seeks to develop a culture of moderation and help seeking, whereby individuals have access to credible information and timely care to make informed decisions about responsible alcohol use.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“We all have family and friends who have been harmed by the effects of alcohol, and I have lived experience myself. Thankfully, the Alcohol Action Plan is one more step in helping us move towards a healthier and happier province. It is certainly my privilege to have been part of this process. It’s important we come together and build that bridge of awareness.”
Jeff Bourne
Executive Director, U-Turn Drop-In-Centre, Carbonear
Provincial Recovery Council Member

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Learn more

All-Party Committee on Mental Health and Addictions Releases Report and Recommendations

Towards Recovery: A Vision for a Renewed Mental Health and Addictions System

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Media contact
Laura Thomas
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 727-0341


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