Sip on this: Like all drugs, alcohol isn’t consequence-free

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Feb. 08, 2016

You can say this about Canadians: We like our beer. And wine, spirits and coolers.

The average Canadian buys almost 76 litres of beer, 16 litres of wine, five litres of spirits and four litres of other alcohol-based drinks annually.

Alcohol is an accepted part of everyday life, a social lubricant at weddings, birthdays, parties, and a staple of sporting and cultural events, as well as meals.

But there’s a dark side to the $20.5-billion we spend annually on drink.

Alcohol kills and maims in a perversely diverse number of ways: liver disease, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, impaired driving; it fuels violence, sexual assault, suicide, traumatic injuries and hikes the risks of cancer and heart disease. All told, alcohol negatively affects more than 200 health conditions.

The impact of alcohol…

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