Éduc’alcool and Lettres en main have published a new booklet on alcohol intended for free distribution to those struggling with literacy and the organizations that support them.

Just under half (49%) of Quebecers are considered functionally illiterate, meaning that they cannot understand a moderately complex text. However, such people are over-represented among populations at high risk for alcohol-related problems. Éduc’alcool’s Alcohol and Health series may well be designed for a mass audience—and hundreds of thousands of copies have indeed been ordered and distributed—but more than half of Quebecers have not been reading them.

Éduc’alcool has therefore joined with Lettres en main, an organization that specializes in simplifying complex information and makes it available to the functionally illiterate via the Nouvelles connaissances usuelles collection, inspired by a series published in the 1950s by the Christian Brothers.

The new booklet draws on content from a number of Éduc’alcool’s Alcohol and Health publications. It provides basic information about alcohol and its effects, raises awareness about mixing alcohol and other substances, and reviews the principles of low-risk drinking, among other topics.

The booklet was written entirely by Lettres en main personnel, with active involvement by the literacy students themselves. A first version was read in the literacy classes to make sure everyone understood the material. Éduc’alcool’s scientists then reviewed the content to make sure it was accurate.

The booklet, published in French only under the simple name L’alcool, is the 17th in the series and is co-published by Éduc’alcool and Lettres en main.

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