CBC: Why watching alcohol intake is advised, but closing liquor stores would be a problem

An addictions researcher recommends Canadians keep an eye on their alcohol intake as they hunker down against the COVID-19 outbreak. ‘After this is over, our health care system will require more resources if people can’t go back to earlier levels of alcohol consumption.’ (Shutterstock)

Canadians can be forgiven if they feel the need for some liquid relief as the COVID-19 outbreak worsens.

Alcohol may seem like a source of comfort as coronavirus case counts jump daily, the economy grinds to a halt and almost everyone hunkers down at home, awaiting an uncertain future.

And while she’s not calling for anyone to dump their booze down the sink, an addictions expert says Canadians should keep a close watch over their alcohol intake during these troubled times.

“It’s not a black and white issue but we need to be extremely careful and be mindful of our drinking patterns,” said Catherine Paradis, a senior research and policy analyst with Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction, which advises the government on policies related to substance abuse.

Paradis recommends Canadians try to stick to Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines, which she helped develop.

Those guidelines recommend consumption limits of:

• 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days.

• 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days.

Paradis says moderation is particularly important with almost everyone under orders to stay at home.

“When you exceed two to three drinks a day you have less patience, you’re more irritable,” she said. “We don’t have time for that now.”

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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the FASD Prevention Conversation Project, its stakeholders or funders.

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