Minister Hoskins: Introduce legislation so alcohol use disorder patients get help
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Alcohol use disorder is a disability and a disease we don't talk about. Current legislation in Ontario offers no mechanisms for families of these people to help or to save the people they love.
And so persons with alcohol use disorder and their families suffer in silence, in darkness, in isolation. Ashamed.
According to government standards, you cannot commit them to treatment because they are not a danger to themselves. And yet, they drink until the lives of their babies are impacted forever. Until their own lives are irreparably harmed. Until they die from their addiction. These are dangers. Happening in slow motion.
Legislation will give babies a chance. It will give concerned family members, friends or spouses an opportunity to intervene and lessen the likelihood of FASD. How many kids do you need to see, to know someone should have helped sooner!
Legislation could also decrease the advance of liver disease to the need for liver transplant. Many reasons more...
We want legislation like Florida's Marchman Act, which allows family members or friends to go to a judge and get people assessed when they have lost control of their alcohol consumption.
Little known facts about alcohol:
- Less than 1/4 of people who have an alcohol use disorder seek treatment.
- 12% of children in Ontario live in alcoholic families.
- 15% of people who try alcohol become addicted.
- Per capita consumption of alcohol increased more than 13% in the past decade in Canada.
- A 2011 study by the World Health Organization of the burden of disease indicates that alcohol ranks second out of 26 risk factors for death, disease and disability, behind tobacco and above other health risks such as over-weight and obesity, physical inactivity, illicit drug use, unhealthy diet and others. We work to address most of these issues but we use alcohol to generate revenue.
Enough is enough.
We have an alcohol problem. It's time to take a stand and tell the government, we demand that you help us save those who we love.
Before it is too late.
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