Tam cautions Canadians on their alcohol intake in year-end message
The pressures of the pandemic have led some people to drink more, Tam says
On a day frequently marked by celebrations involving large amounts of alcohol, Canada's chief public health officer is again asking Canadians to go easy on the drinking as they turn the page on 2020.
"As the new year approaches, many of us will be looking for ways to celebrate. For some, these festivities will include serving and drinking alcohol, while others may find this season difficult due to distance from friends and family," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a media statement issued today.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that some Canadians have increased their alcohol use."
Canada's top doctor has warned in the past about higher alcohol consumption during the pandemic. Reports attributed an uptick in drinking among Canadians earlier this year to pandemic-induced boredom, increased stress and a lack of routine.
"I am reminding Canadians to be aware of the impacts of increased alcohol consumption on their health and to find alternative ways of celebrating and coping with stress that respect public health measures in your region," Tam said in today's statement.
"This could include physical activity, mindfulness, connecting through phone calls and video chats, or celebrating with mocktails or other non-alcoholic beverages."
She pointed to a list of low-risk drinking guidelines prepared by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, which includes information on standard drink sizes and recommended daily and weekly limits.
For special occasions, the guidelines advise no more than three drinks for women and four drinks for men.
The word of caution came with reminders for Canadians to stay inside their homes, practise physical distancing and avoid travel for non-essential purposes.