Is alcohol addiction in Canada any different from anywhere else in the world? The facts will clear that out. Alcohol, whatever form or name it may come with, can be considered as the most abused form of substance in Canada. People may be drinking less now than before, but they still drink. Do you still drink until you can’t hold it anymore?
Alcoholism continues to change the lives of people in more ways than they can imagine. It remains to be one of the serious issues for individuals and society in general. In recent years, binge drinking has become significantly popular, especially to the young. Drinking among underage children have actually become a real problem.
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What is the Canadian drinking culture?
Whenever people in Canada get bored, most of them turn to drink as a pastime. In fact, the country has been known to the world as a beer-drinking nation. Beer is a beverage more consumed than wine and spirits.
More than 50% of the money spent on alcohol goes to beer. However, not everyone in Canada is an alcoholic, of course. Most beer drinkers in the country only ever drink socially. It means that they only drink beer when they are out to celebrate something like a special occasion. Other than that, they avoid it.
Social drinkers do not find anything wrong about giving up alcohol. In fact, weeks can pass without them thinking about beer. For many, drinking alcohol is only limited to when there is a reason to celebrate. There is a significant number of Canadian’s who drink above the government recommended level.
Then there are also those who regularly binge drink and suffer the consequences that come with it. They are those who cannot say no to beer drinking. Though they are aware of the negative consequences that come with their drinking, they still drink because the urge is stronger. Sadly, alcohol addiction in Canada is a serious problem. Underage drinking is budding to become a problem, too.
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Stats of Alcohol Addiction in Canada
How do people end up as alcoholics? Nobody plans to become one. In fact, every alcoholic’s story begins with one drink. May it be from a celebration of a special occasion or a simple drink to end the day with a friend. From that one drink, they go spiralling down. They drink again and again until they are no longer able to control the urge to drink. Before they know it, they’ve become an alcoholic who couldn’t tell when it’s time to stop drinking.
According to statistics, heavy drinking is more likely to happen among those between the age of 15 to 24. It is at this time when people are exposed to a lot of things and find themselves under a lot of pressure. As these young adolescents search for their meaning of life, they come across alcohol that seems to make the worries all go away.
Statistics report shows that about 4% of Canadians could be considered alcoholics. In the past decade, about 600,000 Canadians have become physically dependent on alcohol. An approximate 2,000 people die each year from liver disease, all of which are brought about by alcoholism. Many of those who have found comfort in alcohol have also used illegal drugs to top everything off.
Unfortunately, this growing problem of alcohol addiction in Canada has made it more expensive to get health care. The more members of the population require extensive support to overcome alcoholism, the more financially-challenging it becomes for the government to help them find a cure.
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What does it mean to binge drink in Canada?
The Canadian Medical Association Journal has issued a warning to the public in 2011. It states that binge drinking in Canada has become out of control. According to the numbers they have gathered, about 9% of Canadians regularly consume more beer than they should. They binge drink for a short period of time. It is can be likened to finishing five bottles of beer in less than two hours.
Why is binge drinking the most dangerous form of alcohol consumption? Here are the top reasons why:
- Binge drinking could bring alcohol levels in the blood to reach a rather dangerous level. It is at this point that a person could suffer from alcohol poisoning. They could fall into a coma or choke in their own vomit.
- People who often binge drink are at a higher risk of developing alcoholism. Such conditions may completely destroy their life and the lives of their families.
- Alcohol, not many may be aware of, can be highly toxic when ingested in high doses. Drinking for years could lead to cirrhosis. The earliest stages of liver disease could start with the first episode of binge drinking.
- Such a pattern of drinking could lead to terrible hangovers. This only means that you won’t be fully functional, let alone productive the following day.
- Teenagers in Canada are at a higher risk of binge drink. This only means that they won’t be able to perform well in school.
How serious in underage drinking in Canada?
When did you start drinking alcohol? Everyone who drinks, whether binge drink or occasional drink had their first sip of beer when they were in their teens. Perhaps it was during the high school dance or an afternoon spent hanging out with friends.
In previous years, underage drinking led to 3,500 deaths and about 2 million in injuries. A survey conducted in the early 2000s found that more than 20% of students in their eighth grade have consumed alcohol in the last month.
Underage drinking comes with its own consequences not only for the individual involved but for the community as well. Here are some of the consequences that society should be prepared for until the problem of underage binge drinking is stopped:
- Adolescents who start drinking at a young age are likely to end up with a problem with alcoholism. They are the ones that usually end up with a problem with substance abuse.
- Excessive alcohol intake may disrupt the normal process of development. It can lead to serious problems with brain development.
- Teenagers who engage in binge drinking tend to underperform in school. It can lead to a bigger impact on the opportunities they get in life.
- Underage drinking could lead to teenage pregnancy and sexual assaults.
- Binge drinking teenagers are more likely to give in to the pressure of using addictive substances like illegal drugs.
- Underage drinking has been found to have a strong link to teenage suicide.
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Available Treatments for Alcohol Addiction in Canada
People struggling with alcoholism can always get help. Assistance is provided not just by the government, but by various groups, too. There are a number of resources where alcoholics can tap for help. All that they really need is to know for themselves that they want to put an end to their misery brought about by alcohol addiction. Help will always be available.
When you are ready to overcome this stage in your life, all you need is to tell someone about it. Support and assistance will always be on the way. The first step is to recognize that alcohol consumption has become a real problem. The real solutions will be available when you acknowledge that professional help is necessary for you to recover.
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