The 'Where Does Your Drinking Stand?' (WDYDS) Survey

The 18 question WDYDS survey is anonymous and has been designed to help you, your loved ones or your health care professional answer some questions about drinking. When you have finished the test you can print your "Final Report" or email your "Final Report" directly to yourself.

Terms of Use

Important Legal Information

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) maintains this survey as a service to the Back on Track community. All images and information contained in this web site are, to the fullest extent possible, copyrighted and otherwise proprietary.

You may only review or use the content of this survey for your personal, non-commercial use. Any content related to this survey may not be otherwise copied and may not be modified. No other use of this survey is permitted without the prior written consent of CAMH.

CAMH will make all reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information within this survey, but makes no warranties or representations, express or implied, as to its accuracy or completeness. CAMH shall not be liable for damages of any kind arising out of your access, or inability to access this survey or your reliance on the information in it.

Please Note: By clicking "Start the Survey" you acknowledge that this test is for educational purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for a consultation or visit with your family physician or other healthcare provider or information provided by Back on Track. Some risks associated with drinking may be higher for those who are overweight or obese.

CAMH reserves the right to change this legal disclaimer at any time.

I have read and accepted the terms of use.

I'd like to take this test:

For yourself
For Someone you know
You are just checking out the WDYDS test to see what the results look like

Are you a health care professional or a researcher?


You are:


Your age is:

15 - 17
18 - 24
25 - 34
35 - 44
45 - 54
55 +

How often do you have a drink that contains alcohol?

monthly or less
2-4 times a month
2-3 times a week
4 or more times a week

On a typical day when you do drink, how many drinks containing alcohol do you have?


How often do you have 5 (five) or more drinks on one occasion?

less than monthly
once per month
2-3 times per month
2-4 times per week
daily or almost daily

How often during the last year have you found that you weren't able to stop drinking once you started?

less than monthly
daily or almost daily

How often during the last year have you failed to do what's normally expected from you because of drinking?

less than monthly
daily or almost daily

How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to "get yourself going" after a heavy drinking session?

less than monthly
daily or almost daily

How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?

less than monthly
daily or almost daily

How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?

less than monthly
daily or almost daily

Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?

yes, but not within the last year
yes, during the last year

Has a relative or friend or doctor or other health professional ever shown concern about your drinking, or suggested that you cut down?

yes, but not within the last year
yes, during the last year

During the past 12 months, have you driven a vehicle after having 2 or more drinks in the previous hour?


Print ReportEmail
Label2 Label3

Heavy Drinking Days

How often do {0}s from Canada in your age range drink five or more drinks on one occasion? The highlighted slice shows where your drinking fits into the chart:

Label5 SLabel2
Audit score (risk of alcohol-related harm)

Burning Alcohol

Your liver metabolizes (or burns) alcohol at a constant rate – about 1 gram per hour for every 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of your body weight. Exercising or drinking coffee will not get the alcohol out of your body any sooner.

Although you may not feel some of the effects of alcohol your body is working long after you drink to get rid of the alcohol in your system. Depending on how much you drink and weigh, your liver can be under extra strain for a very long time. This is one example of the health risks of heavy drinking.


There are also other kinds of risk that heavy drinking presents. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive or operate heavy equipment safely. If you have a drink, don’t drive! Take a bus or taxi, or get a lift from a friend who hasn’t been drinking.

Sensible Drinking

Guidelines suggest that most people can drink up to two drinks a day without significant risk to their health, in the short or the long term.

Most people can and do drink safely and sensibly. For women, drink no more than 10 drinks a week, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days. For men, drink no more than 15 drinks a week, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days. It is also a good idea to make sure there are days when you don’t drink at all. For some people, even 1 to 2 drinks per day would be too many. Pregnant women, for example, are advised to abstain from alcohol completely because even small amounts of alcohol could increase the risk to the unborn child. Heavy drinking days are especially dangerous to the unborn child. Certain health problems such as heart disease or cancer can make even moderate drinking unsafe.

Reducing Your Risk

There are many things that you can do to reduce the risk of hurting yourself or others. Here are some small steps you can take to start making a change:

  • Don’t drink in any situation where there’s a risk of accident or injury — for example, drinking and driving.
  • Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs — especially other depressants like tranquilizers, barbiturates, heroin or other opioids.
  • Try to reduce by one or two days the number of days you drink each week.
  • Decide how much you will drink ahead of time and keep yourself to this limit.
  • Take a limited amount of money with you if you go out to have a drink.
  • Keep track of the amount you drink.
  • Alternate alcoholic with non-alcoholic beverages when you drink.
  • Choose alcoholic beverages with lower alcohol content.
  • If you are out drinking with friends, make sure at least one person stays sober. If that person is driving they should not drink any alcohol at all.
  • Do not become intoxicated with people you do not know and trust; criminal victimization is a much greater risk when you are drunk.
  • Remember the need to practice safer sex — always use condoms.

Health Effects of Alcohol

We’ve included the following information in the event that you would like to learn more about how the use of alcohol can affect your health.

Your liver
Because the liver receives blood directly from the intestines, it takes the brunt of high alcohol concentrations. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to two serious types of liver injury: hepatic inflammation (alcohol hepatitis) and progressive liver scarring (fibrosis or cirrhosis). (Chedid et al 1991; Dufour et al 1993)

Women are more at risk to serious alcohol-related liver injury; they develop cirrhosis at a lower dose of alcohol than men do. (Marbet et al 1987)

Heavy drinkers are 3 times more likely to develop liver cancer than non-drinkers. (English & Holman, 1995)

Your throat, stomach, and intestines
Alcohol is a cause of long-term throat inflammation that sometimes leads to cancer.
Inflammation occurs in part because alcohol reduces contraction of the smooth muscle in the lower throat. (Keshavarzian et al 1994)

People who drink more that 21 drinks per week have almost a ten-fold higher risk of throat cancer than those who consume fewer than 7 drinks per week. (Vaughan et al 1995)

Mouth cancers are six times more common in heavy alcohol users than in non-alcohol users.
(American Cancer Society, 2002)

Your pancreas
The pancreas is a gland behind your stomach that releases chemicals important for digesting food. Heavy alcohol use can lead to long-term pancreatic inflammation, weakening, and scarring. (Haber et al 1995)

Alcohol can also cause acute pancreatitis, a severe and very painful inflammation of the pancreas.

Your heart and circulatory system
The potential health benefits of moderate drinking (up to 2 drinks per occasion) do not apply to younger people, whose risk for heart disease is ordinarily very low.

Long-term drinking of more than four drinks per occasion has been linked to a variety of damaging effects on the heart and circulatory system. (Davidson, 1989)

Your brain
Alcohol can cause direct or indirect damage to nervous tissues. Long-term heavy drinking is linked to brain damage and poor mental functioning. (Spreen and Strauss, 1991)

Your endocrine system (hormone regulation)
Alcohol interferes with the hormone regulation of a number of bodily activities. Men who have a history of heavy drinking often have lower levels of testosterone and increases in female sex steroids, such as estradiol and estrone.

Emergency Department
Patients treated in an emergency department for an unintentional injury are 13.5 times more likely to have drunk 5 or more alcohol-containing drinks within 6 hours of their injury. Alcohol-related unintentional injuries and deaths include motor vehicle crashes, drowning, falls, hypothermia, burns, suicides, and homicides. (Vinson, 2003)

Road traffic crashes
Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people aged 1-34 years. They are also a leading cause of hospitalization for serious injury. Alcohol is involved in around 40% of crashes (LTSA, 2000; NHTSA, 2003).

Compared with a person with no alcohol in their blood, a person with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10% is between 13 and 18 times more likely to have any crash and 50-90 times more likely to have a fatal crash. (Miller, 2001)

Unlike what some people believe, vehicle occupants with high levels of alcohol in their system (high BAC) are more likely to be seriously injured or to die in the event of a crash. (Soderstrom, 1993)

Alcohol and Violence
In 1997, about 40% of all crimes (violent and non-violent) were committed by people who had alcohol in their system. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998)

In 1997, 40% of convicted rape and sexual assault offenders said that they were drinking at the time of their crime. (Greenfield, 2000)

Approximately 72% of rapes reported on college campuses occur when victims are so intoxicated they are unable to consent or refuse. (Wecshler, 2004)

Note: Some risks associated with drinking may be higher for those who are overweight or obese.