It may come as a surprise that alcohol intoxication still exceeds drug overdoses in hospital emergency rooms in Vancouver.
Doctor Patricia Daly of Vancouver Coastal Health says emergency departments in the region record up to 200 overdoses a week, and of those, one third are related to alcohol.
“On a weekly basis we see more visits from people who have overdosed or are acutely intoxicated from alcohol, than any other psychoactive substance. More than heroin, more than marijuana, more than people who might overdose on prescription drugs.”
Daly says BC has a particular problem with binge drinking because of the accessibility of alcohol.
Meanwhile the City of Vancouver is reviewing its liquor policy and results are expected by this fall.
Councillor Kerry Jang says the City wants to balance the enjoyment of alcoholic drinks with community health and safety.
“The Province for example, says we want to put wine in liquor stores. We said “Let’s wait until our staff look at that proposal under the new liquor policy review.” If we just continue to open up bars and nightclubs for example, people will somehow have to get home, so do we want to promote more responsible liquor consumption like at neighbourhood pubs.”
The Province controls the making and selling of liquor through the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.
The City has power over the size and types of venues that serve liquor, and rules for liquor on patios.