Northern Ontario's acceptance of 'excessive use of alcohol' a barrier to controlling it
3 of 5 people in northwestern Ontario at risk due to alcohol use, medical officer of health says
Northwestern Ontario has a drinking problem.
Statistics show three out of five people in the region are at risk of acute, or chronic harm because of their alcohol consumption, said Dr. Kit Young Hoon, the medical officer at the Northwestern Health Unit.
"Excessive use of alcohol being acceptable is not just among youth, it is a cultural issue that is greater in northwestern Ontario than in other parts of the province."
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That culture of tolerance to the overuse of alcohol has become "one of the barriers to addressing this problem," among all age groups said Dr. Young Hoon.
"This is an issue that we can address collectively together in how we talk about alcohol and how we perceive it," she said.
There is a need to increase general awareness in the region about the harms of alcohol, and to encourage people to change the way they view alcohol, she said.
"If we're having community events involving children and youth, perhaps we can avoid serving alcohol at those community events."
Dr. Young Hoon and Dr. Michael Wilson, the regional coroner for northwestern Ontario will be speaking about alcohol and drug related trauma in youth Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Dryden Regional Training and Cultural Centre.