All over the world, alcoholism causes deaths, either directly or induced. In Canada, nearly 15,000 deaths are attributable to alcohol every year. One might argue that this could be the time to fight it since Canada is isolated due to the coronavirus outbreak. But it isn’t. Healing from alcoholism isn’t as easy as a non-alcoholic might think.
Alcoholism is a disease. And moreover, a shameful one. It is why people suffering from this dependency have problems admitting they struggle with it and don’t ask for help. It is also a difficult process to get cured.
In the therapeutic struggle, an alcoholic must never forget he is one. Even after years of abstinence the former alcoholic still calls himself an alcoholic. Like any dependency, you can’t get rid of it by having minimal contact. No contact is allowed. And that is a hard thing even for a non-alcoholic, just an occasional consumer.
Ontario dubbed liquor stores as essential during the coronavirus outbreak
Anxiety, shaky hands, headache, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and sweating are common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Many of the patients trying to get rid of the disease end up in the emergency room. It’s far from being easy.
Without a supportive environment, very few can do it. And a pandemic, such as the one we are all living at the time, can’t create the safe boundaries of a supportive environment. It is not the time to ask people to do what they couldn’t when life wasn’t threatened by a deadly fast-spreading virus.
It is why the Ontario government decided to let alcoholism follow its course so that patients suffering from alcohol withdrawal don’t overload the emergency rooms. It becomes essential that the liquor stores stay open during the crisis, just like grocery stores and pharmacies. Alcoholics depend on alcohol just like they depend on food, and more so.
About 3.2 % of the 37,59 million Canadians have reported alcohol abuse or dependence. That’s close to 650.000 people. If only 10% (and that is the mild case scenario) of them end up in the ER it could seriously impair the hospital’s possibilities to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.