A Thunder Bay District Health Unit report has revealed close to 50 per cent of area residents are consuming more alcohol than recommended in low-risk drinking guidelines. 

The new figures are higher than the provincial proportion of 42 per cent. The guidelines are aimed at reducing long-term risks associated with alcohol consumption, including the potential to develop several diseases such as cancer. 

Janet DeMille, acting medical officer of health at the health unit told CBC News the over consumption of alcohol can be harmful to more than just your health. 

"Crime and other types of accidents, for example," she said. "And then we also know that there is a social and economic cost to excessive alcohol use that we all end up paying for."

According to the health unit's website, low-risk drinking guidelines suggest no more than 15 drinks per week for men and 10 for women. It's also suggested that men consume no more than four drinks in a single occasion and that number is three for women. 

"Canada's low-risk drinking guidelines are designed to assist healthy adults to make informed decisions about drinking alcohol while minimizing potential risks," the website said.

DeMille said the community will have to band together in order to come up with a solution for the amount of drinking taking place in Thunder Bay. She noted there are a number of programs already in place, but the challenge will be to determine what else can be done.