What is Alcoholism in Canada?
People tend to associate alcoholism with people at the end of the road, people who if not supported by government programs would be clutching a bottle and sleeping in doorways or park benches, leading a life on the street.
This definition of alcoholism associates with the individual. Although many people drink alcohol - only a few are considered to suffer from alcoholism. Alcoholism is seen by some as being a disease, a compulsive disorder over which a person has no control. This enables people who drink alcohol, who manage to remain financially sound and functional, and who retain control of their drinking dependence to minimize related harms, to draw a line of distinction between their behavior and alcoholism.
There is intense denial of the part of people who drink alcohol that excessive alcohol consumption is a sign of trouble or of alcoholism. Alcohol related troubles are put down to other causes. While people continue to define alcoholism as the end result of chronic alcohol consumption, by which time a person has become totally disconnected from other meaningful relationships, and is degraded by alcohol, it provides a comfort zone in which we can make alcohol a mainstay of our lives, yet not be regarded as an alcoholic.
Alcohol in Canada
Alcohol is more a problem in our society than most people
want to believe
In Canada, it is the national government that is a monopoly supplier of alcohol, and alcohol is big business. Around 75% of adult Canadians drink alcohol, and alcohol drinking has social acceptance. Alcohol is served at most public and private entertainments, is widely advertised and promoted. The reality is that we foster, encourage and maintain the culture of alcoholism in the wider sense. Most high days and holidays, celebrations and events would lose their excitement and exuberance if alcohol was not supplied. People do not question community reliance on alcohol drinking to provide us with "fun" times. We can drink as much as we like, and not be thought of as alcoholics provided that despite our drinking habits, we can keep ourselves out of trouble.
An article from Alberta Health Services Canada provides an overview of alcohol drinking in Canada, and calls alcohol drinking - the "forgotten" problem: see article on alcohol forgotten problem
Alcohol Abuse Denial
In many ways, family, friends and business partners will collude and conspire to deny that alcohol is a cause of problems in their life, to maintain the status quo. Alcoholism causes absenteeism from the workplace at alarming rates - officially people take days off, due to migraines or the flu. People under stress and tension to cope with high stress levels, often use alcohol and deny any problem because they still turn up for work, and manage to pay their bills. See article from U.S. National Library of Medicine
One CEO, caught for drunk driving, made his non-driving wife obtain a driving license, sit in his office all day, ready to drive him as and when needed to his many appointments. He did not think that his drinking was a problem. He used his wife to resolve the issue, rather than incur the cost of cabs - and have to explain to all and sundry that he was suspended from driving because of his drinking habits.
Hidden Cost for Alcoholism
The hidden cost of having a culture of alcoholism in which excessive alcohol drinking is both common and acceptable, is in the deterioration of family values, and the loss of productive recreational time while people spend their leisure irritable and hung over, and sleeping off alcohol drinking effects.
Alcohol Abuse Can Lead to Homelessness
Certainly one outcome of chronic alcoholism can be homelessness. To maintain house and home over one's head in our modern times requires a considerable amount of organization, and an adequate income. People struggling with alcoholism can find that the cost of drinking can be loss of employment, loss of their home, and perhaps put an end to a marriage.
Other Costs for Alcoholism
Alcohol in the home causes physical and emotional damage. There is the cost of hospital admissions related to alcohol drinking, social support for alcohol abused women and children, and workplace related costs.
Alcoholism has a social cost not limited to providing housing for people with long term alcoholism. There is no part of our social structure on which alcohol abuse does not impact. If we redefined alcoholism to include all alcohol induced behaviors that have a social cost and effect - it might be that we would have to rethink our attitudes about the cost and damage done to our society as a result of the culture of alcoholism.
Seeing Alcohol Addiction for What it Is and Doing Something About it
People who don't feel able to give up their alcohol use, despite adverse consequences might like to consider reframing their definition of what constitutes alcoholism. People can really make a difference to their life by going to alcohol addiction rehab to get treatment for alcohol drinking.
Narconon is available in Canada, open throughout the year, to accept new clients wanting to turn their life around for good, to get clean from alcohol use. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how you define it, whether you are an alcohol dependent, addict or alcoholic - if alcohol drinking is causing problems you need the comprehensive detoxification and rehabilitation program from Narconon
With the Narconon lifelong recovery program you can get clean of alcohol, and build for yourself a new way of life - that does not rely upon drugs - that puts an end to alcohol drinking and to alcoholism.
More Information about the compulsion to drink
More Information about alcoholism symptoms
More Information about how to stop drinking
More Information about inpatient alcohol rehab
More Information about alcohol statistics & alcohol rehab for Alberta
More Information about alcohol prevention and alcohol rehab for Ontario
More Information about best options for alcohol rehab for BC
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