OUR VIEW: Treating alcoholism as a disease

Giving doctors more time with patients is a good start

There’s a joke about an alcoholic who read about the evils of drinking. It affected him so much he gave up reading.

The fact we can find humour in something that has caused so much pain in our society and has cost untold dollars of public money hints at the tricky nature of our relationship with alcohol.

On the one hand, we have B.C. recently becoming the first province in Canada to task doctors with treating alcohol addiction as a chronic medical condition. The move pays for doctors to take extra time to root out the reasons behind someone’s problem drinking before their condition worsens.

The hope is that doing so will lessen the billions of dollars that alcohol currently costs B.C.’s health care system. However, there are also benefits to be had from booze, not the least of which is the billions in revenue generated by liquor sales. And with evidence suggesting our smartest people are drawn to drink, there is little prospect of trying to regulate how much people consume.

Alcohol is woven into the fabric of our society, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to ease its harm. What we need to do, as individuals and through our governments, is make sure the culture of drinking and how it’s shared between generations is brought out from the shadows.

British Columbia’s decision to effectively side with those who want alcoholism listed as a disease is a good start. By recognizing that there are no simple solutions for the bigger problem – but that there are remedies on an individual scale – we can begin to address the burden that excessive and inappropriate drinking places on all our lives.

– Victoria News/Black Press

 

Just Posted

Campbell River hospital ‘overcrowded,’ says patient placed in hallway

Problem signals need for more funded beds as hospitals face capacity crunch – nurses’ union

BC Transit to offer free night buses on New Year’s Eve in Campbell River

No transit service on Christmas, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day

Man exposes himself to woman waiting for bus in Campbell River

Police responded to a complaint that a male had exposed himself to… Continue reading

John Hart Generating Station officially fully operational

Still a few finishing touches, and more more work on the Campbell River system in the coming years

VIDEO: Drivers swerve to avoid giant potholes on dangerous road near Campbell River

Confusion reigns over responsibility for road maintenance north of John Hart Dam

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Most Read