22 Dec Alcohol Abuse in Vancouver
There’s a lot of news about opioid addiction in Vancouver, and it is a serious issue, but unfortunately, there is another substance that is widely abused, and it’s not illegal, it’s wholly legal and is widely endorsed and promoted.
In terms of the cost to society and the cost to personal health, alcohol addiction is a much larger problem than drug addiction. From 2015 to 2016, B.C. had nearly 15,000 hospital admissions due to alcohol abuse.
A report from statistics Canada shows that B.C. residents may be in denial about their drinking habits, which can lead to quiet addiction. This is all too easy in a society that promotes drinking wine with every meal, or having a beer after work as a social norm.
According to Tim Stockwell, a University of Victoria professor and director of the Centre for Addictions Research of B.C., “Consumption of alcohol in B.C. has been increasing about three times faster than in the rest of Canada in recent years, coinciding with liquor reforms,” said Stockwell. “Alcohol-related hospitalizations now surpass hospitalizations caused by tobacco in most parts of the province and are substantially higher than hospitalizations caused by illicit drugs.
With the promotion of the B.C. wine region and craft beer industry, drinking alcohol is widely viewed as a beverage that can be consumed like pop, unfortunately this has led to many alcohol related illnesses including alcoholism.
Vancouver Alcohol Addiction – Signs to Watch For
Overindulging in alcohol is such a common part of western culture that we often joke about having a severe hangover or blacking out, but the truth is that these are signs of an alcohol problem, and if someone you know is drinking to this extent, they are causing serious damage to their health.
If you find yourself looking forward to a drink at the end of the day, you are beginning to build a dependency on alcohol. If you need a drink at the end of the day or justify having a drink at any time of the day, you have an alcohol problem and it’s time to take account of your drinking habits.
While many of us will have experienced the feeling of needing a glass of wine to unwind, if you physically or emotionally need alcohol to get through the day, you have a serious alcohol dependency.
Alcohol use patterns vary, and not all alcoholics drink every day. They may not even drink every weekend or month, but when they do drink, frequently drink to the point where they will blackout.
Another sign that your alcohol use is becoming a problem is if you notice a change to your personality.
- Does life seem more difficult?
- Have you become more depressed?
- Do you find you easily become angry or irritated
- Do you find you are running into financial difficulties?
- Are your relationships becoming strained?
- Do you ever call into work sick because of a hangover?
Most people equate an alcohol addiction with people who drink every day, but the truth is, many people can easily hide an alcohol addiction. Even when they experience withdrawal symptoms, it is easy to deny these are in fact withdrawal symptoms based on an alcohol addiction. The symptoms of nausea, feeling shaky and anxious or losing a sense of balance can be attributed to other sources such as flu, a stomach bug, aging, hormones, or stress.
Alcohol is widely promoted as a source of fun and good times, but those good times can quickly turn dark when we use alcohol as a regular means of stress relief, relaxation, or excitement.
If you know someone who you think is drinking too much, and you need help explaining the danger of alcohol dependency, call an interventionist. Many people don’t recognize how serious their alcohol habit has become, and getting the facts on alcohol addiction can help them decide to choose the road to sobriety.