Dufferin County has a drinking problem

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health launches awareness campaign.

Alcohol almost killed Julie Elsdon-Height. She went from being the life of the party to not knowing who she was or what she was doing.

“I knew that drunk Julie was too powerful,” she said, remembering one morning nearly a decade ago when she woke up and found a suicide note she had written in a blacked-out state the night before. “I needed help.”

Elsdon-Height is one of a countless number of Dufferin County residents who have struggled with drinking.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has known about Dufferin County’s high rates of alcohol consumption for a number of years and now they’re trying to do something about it.

The department has launched a public awareness campaign called Last Call Dufferin showcasing a number of stories about how alcohol has affected the lives of people in the county.

“The rate of high-risk consumption in Dufferin County is higher than the provincial average, which is concerning,” said Dr. Matthew Tenenbaum, associate medical officer at Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

“We know that in the current environment, certain attitudes … the marketing of alcohol and the availability of alcohol, it seems it’s a very normal thing to drink,” said Tenenbaum. “That can lead to harms unfortunately.”

The campaign features Scott Davis, spokesperson for the Orangeville Police Service.

“The rippling effect of the use of alcohol can be very traumatic and devastating,” he said, explaining that residents do need to be concerned.

According to a 2015 report from the public health department, Dufferin County residents consumed more alcohol on average than the rest of the area, as well as the provincial average.

It also showed that nearly 60 per cent of Grade 10 students admitted to binge drinking.

Prolonged alcohol use, even in moderation, can cause diseases, addiction and cancers.

It can have damaging social effects, lead to highway safety issues and is responsible for 35 per cent of domestic violence cases in the region. (Read more…)


Re-post from Orangeville, November 13, 2019