Let’s Talk About Alcohol
Let’s talk about alcohol.
Alcohol is entrenched in Maritime culture. It is part of our history and many would say our heritage. We are a society that normalizes and often glamorizes over-drinking. According to the Canadian Addiction Survey 1 in 5 Nova Scotians is considered a high-risk drinker. While drinking is often associated with having a good time, it’s important to recognize the impact alcohol consumption has on our mental health.
Many of us drink alcohol to let loose, celebrate a special occasion, or ease symptoms of anxiety or stress. When we drink to deal with difficult feelings or alleviate symptoms of mental illness, it can lead to dependency and exacerbate existing mental health issues. For many people, it’s hard to admit when alcohol is a problem so family and friends are often the first to recognize the issue. Like any mental illness, it affects more than just the individual directly involved.
As culinary tourism operators who regularly frequent wineries, breweries, pubs, and restaurants, and encourage the consumption of alcohol, we are committed to promoting responsible drinking. We encourage a healthy relationship among our patrons and staff. Still, we know that’s not possible for everyone so we believe it’s important to talk about alcoholism and mental health. Not just today but all year long. Alcohol addiction is a very real mental health issue in our province and beyond.
If you or a loved one has a problematic relationship with alcohol, ask for help. Talk with your health care provider about your concerns. If you need help immediately, call the Mental Health Crisis Line toll-free at 1-888-429-8167.