Canadians Are Over-Drinking - Here’s How To Stop

By Ben Hamill - September 05 2020

Canadians Are Over-Drinking - Here’s How To Stop

To many people, life is stressful enough as it is even without having to spend extended periods of time cooped up at home, or worse, constantly worrying about issues related to work and income and being furloughed whilst at the same time still having to keep it all together and take care of children and a family. And now that Canadians are suddenly having to deal with many or all of these, and in many cases even more, studies are showing we’re also becoming a whole lot more prone to vices such as the overuse of specifically alcohol and cannabis.

In fact, according to a study released by the Canadian Red Cross in July, some one in five Canadians staying at home – and this figure includes those who are working from home as well as those no longer working – has at least one drink every day.

Especially parents of young children, so indicates a York University survey, are turning to the overuse of legal substances such as alcohol in order to better cope with the sensation of feeling completely overwhelmed by a sudden new reality.  

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Always A Better Way

According to York University department of Psychology assistant professor Matthew Keough, parents who are suddenly working from home and homeschooling children, whilst all the while having to cope with their own negative emotions and reactions, are especially prone to turn to alcohol in order to try and feel better and more relaxed. And to this end, perhaps not surprisingly, people with kids living at home are apparently much more likely than “non-parents” to turn to alcohol.

But according to Lisha Di Gioacchino, who is an expert from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), help is always at hand. And that a good starting point would be to realise that there’s no real reason to feel shame or even stigmatised for struggling to keep it all “in check”. Many people have circumstances in their lives that “require” the use of substances in order for them to cope, and as such, said Di Gioacchino, seeking support needn’t be accompanied by a fear of moral judgement.

Know Thyself

Awareness, says Gioacchino, is as good a place to start as any. Which is why it’s important to realise that research shows women being more likely to turn to substances during times of stress and trauma.

Limits too, are apparently a huge problem – or rather, sticking to limits. A good place to start, so says Gioacchino, is to read up on the average national guidelines, which currently advises that women consume no more than 10 drinks a week and men no more than 15.

Any challenge is manageable, concluded Gioacchino, and asking for a little help along the way is perfectly acceptable too.

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