Addiction to alcohol, or alcoholism, is one of the most prevalent addictions in Canada. This is for a number of reasons. Alcoholism was present even at the time Canada was forming as a country. The European nations that colonized Canada brought with them a love for the drink, and it became as established a tradition in Canada as it had been in the older countries. Though many of these countries that helped lay the foundation for Canada as a nation currently have worse problems with alcoholism than Canada does, Canada still makes the list of the top thirty countries that struggle with alcoholism.
Many Canadians attribute their alcohol tradition to the cold weather. This may seem like a way of excusing an alcohol addiction, but statistically, it is in line with other cold weather countries. Cold weather countries have a tendency to have a higher rate of alcohol consumption than warm weather countries. Alcohol is known to give off a feeling of “false warmth,” reducing the sensation of cold. This could be why cold weather countries consume more of it, or it could be simply because the alcohol is a way of amusing people indoors during winter months. For whatever reason, alcohol has a heavy draw to Canadians, and its sales only increase during the cold season.
Alcoholism certainly causes its share of problems in Canada. A large majority of domestic disputes and violent episodes involve alcohol. A huge number of arrests are made daily for crimes fueled by alcohol consumption. Suicides, depression and seasonal disorders are also increased in Canada due to alcohol. Fortunately, significant efforts are being made to treat alcoholism and give people the tools necessary to return to a sober way of life. Because alcohol is one of the most accessible means of escaping from problems, many people prefer it to healthy coping skills. But thanks to comprehensive treatment efforts, there is hope for Canadians who are struggling with an addiction to alcohol.