If you’ve found yourself drinking a little more booze while staying at home recently, you’re apparently not the only one! Ottawa Public Health is now urging Canadians to practice sensible drinking habits, as COVID-19 alcohol sales in Canada have boomed. To keep us on the straight-and-narrow, they’ve issued some alcohol-related advice.
It may come as no surprise that alcohol sales across Canada have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, as millions of us are suddenly at home a lot more than usual.
In a statement on the OPH website, the government agency is reminding Ottawans that alcohol is "the most commonly used substance" in the city, and therefore overindulging during the pandemic is a real possibility for many people.
Noting that “recent news reports indicated an increase in alcohol sales across the country,” the health agency issued a few pieces of advice for anybody who may have stocked-up their booze cupboard.
Their first suggestion is, "Set limits for yourself and stick to them."
OPH also adds, "Drink slowly, and have no more than 2 standard drinks in 3 hours."
The lineup at the Trim Road LCBO. It snakes around into two lines by the door. https://t.co/KDA6pJsEGv— Sarah Wright-Gilbert (@Sarah Wright-Gilbert)1586031058.0
Similar situation outside the LCBO.... https://t.co/GVsiRyIWzR— Helena Hanson (@Helena Hanson)1586101314.0
The Ottawa health agency continues, "Keep a daily routine, be physically active, and virtually connect with family and friends as healthy ways to manage stress."
Finally, OPH adds, "Avoid stockpiling alcohol."
Their notice adds, “For all residents, there are resources and supports available for alcohol, substance use, and mental health, as well as for women and children specifically.”
More information can be found here.
Hey Ottawa, it's us (OPH). Just checking in on you. If #COVID19 is affecting your #MentalHealth, please know that… https://t.co/awy5M7OgcR— Ottawa Public Health (@Ottawa Public Health)1586808091.0
When Ontario Premier Doug Ford released the list of essential businesses that would remain open during the pandemic, he addressed questions about why alcohol stores were considered to be “essential.”
"I know there are some people at home thinking, 'How does that work?'" he said last month. "Well, there are people out there with addictions. We're there to help them."
Last month, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen De Villa, spoke out about the long lines spotted at LCBO and Beer Store locations.
"I'm sorry to hear of long lineups at any facility. That clearly is not in keeping with the social distancing advice, and the very strong recommendations that we’ve been putting out there,” she explained.
It's normal to feel worried or anxious during times of uncertainty. Focus on what you can control and do things to… https://t.co/woV8WJYaRr— Toronto Public Health (@Toronto Public Health)1586548246.0
In the same notice from Ottawa Public Health, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vera Etches reminded residents to continue to take good care of their mental health during this time.
“Take the time to do what is best for you,” she said. “Whether that means taking a walk alone, taking a break from the news, or cooking a holiday meal with your household members.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance use, help is available. You can click here for additional resources.