There are more hospital admissions in Canada due to alcohol-related conditions than for heart attacks. In the year 2015-2016, there were up to 77,000 admissions, which is 212 on average per day, not including emergency cases (Noik, 2017). Globally, alcohol was related to over 3 million deaths per year in 2012, slightly more than lung cancer and HIV/AIDS combined. (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2015)
A study by Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that Canadians drink more than 50% above the global average alcohol consumption (Patel, 2013). There are a couple of reasons that causes addiction, such as genetic factors, whereby a person may inherit a vulnerability to the addiction properties; environmental factors, that is if a person grows up in a home and/or community where people are alcoholic, it is more likely that he/she will be prone to follow the same pattern. This is a learned behavior. There is desire to ‘fit in’ or ‘belong’. There is peer pressure. Apart from the genetic and environmental factors, other reasons people become addict is because of the ‘good feeling’ it gives them, for the temporary moments of ecstasy, as it reduces inhibitions or they use alcohol just as a way of coping with difficult emotions and situations. No matter what the reasons, it is important to understand that prevention is better and way cheaper than cure. There is a need to educate people about the effects of alcoholism.
According to Public Health Agency of Canada, alcohol is one of the leading causes of injury and death, including impaired driving and illnesses caused due to alcohol. Alcohol is toxic for the liver, heart, pancreas and nervous system. As such, it causes illnesses such as pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain damage, stroke, depression, anxiety, impact on decision-making, immune and stress system as well as memory. Alcohol not only impacts the abusers. It also has social implications, such as unemployment. In North America, one in every six unemployed workers are addicts. Alcoholism has its impact on the suicide rate. As high as 50% among those attempted suicide are related to alcohol or other drug abuse. It also permeates to workplace causing workplace accidents and violence. It is an evil that gives birth to various other evils in society, such as lie, deception, theft, murder, abandoning ones family.
There is not enough awareness about the impact of alcoholism. Children and young adults need to be educated well in advance before the media and peers educates them otherwise. They need to know, its ‘cool’ to ‘stand out’, rather than ‘fit in’; that we can have more fun when sober, than under intoxication. What is really cool is taking control of your life, instead of letting alcohol take control of you.
CAMH. (n.d.). Retrieved from Addiction: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/addiction
Noik, S. (2017, June 22). CBC News. Retrieved from Alcohol responsible for more hospital admissions than heart attacks last year: report: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/alcohol-hospital-admissions-1.4172091
Patel, A. (2013, April 03). Huffington Post. Retrieved from Statistics Of Alcohol: Canadians Drink More Than 50% Above Global Average, CAMH Report Finds: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/04/statistics-of-alcohol_n_2806184.html
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2015). Retrieved from Alcohol Consumption in India: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/department-ministere/state-public-health-alcohol-2015-etat-sante-publique-alcool/alt/state-phac-alcohol-2015-etat-aspc-alcool-eng.pdf