Stampede challenging time for people with addictions, expert says

Stampede week has just begun and EMS has already seen an increase of alcohol-related calls as some Calgarians party a little too hard. But for those grappling with alcohol addiction, this time of year can be a serious struggle, says one expert.

EMS already seeing increase in alcohol-related calls

EMS officials say there is traditionally an increase in alcohol-related emergency calls during Stampede week in Calgary. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Stampede week has just begun and EMS has already seen an increase of alcohol-related calls as some Calgarians party a little too hard. 

But for those grappling with alcohol addiction, this time of year can be a serious struggle, says Brent Lloyd, clinical manager of the Edgewood Health Network Calgary.

He says with bars able to open at 8 a.m., parties across the city and a culture of drinking, people with addictions need extra support.

Brent Lloyd, clinical manager of the Edgewood Health Network Calgary, says Stampede week can be a challenging time for people struggling with addictions. (CBC)

"I think it would be good to … make sure that you're keeping it simple, and making sure you have contact with your sponsor, maybe doubling up meetings," he said.

For people who will be consuming alcohol, EMS recommends drinking a lot of water, staying out of the sun and looking out for one another.

Calgary EMS spokeswoman Naomi Nania says they've already seen people of all ages over-consuming.

"Unfortunately we do expect the younger crowds … but with office parties and work functions, we see a lot of the older, more professional people," she said.

Lloyd says some of his clients have opted to leave town.

"There's just so many opportunities to drink," he said.

He recommends those who stick around seek each other out for support or go to more meetings.

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