Alcohol consumption among Canadians has changed during the pandemic

Without the responsibility of in-person classes, some students have found they now have the ability to have their microphones and cameras turned off during classes which allows them to do other activities. This includes drinking alcohol. “Morning classes are now not a reason to not drink the night before, as I have nowhere to be […]
The pandemic has made some people consider how their drinking habits are affecting them and how to drink in moderation.

Without the responsibility of in-person classes, some students have found they now have the ability to have their microphones and cameras turned off during classes which allows them to do other activities.

This includes drinking alcohol.

“Morning classes are now not a reason to not drink the night before, as I have nowhere to be but on my computer in bed,” said Shelby Oldham, a student in the graphic design program at Algonquin College. Oldham admits that occasionally near the end of an online class she will have a drink.

Consuming alcohol during post-secondary studies is not out of the ordinary, but the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a rising concern about alcohol consumption among students across Canada.

The lack of social gatherings, mental illnesses and online classes have caused students to find other ways to cope.

According to a survey done by Statistics Canada, the number of people who consumed five or more alcoholic beverages on days they drank, grew from 11 per cent to 18 per cent between 2017 and 2021. Although, during the same study 33 per cent of people aged 15 to 29 noticed a decrease in their consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The pandemic has made some people consider how their drinking habits are affecting them and how to drink in moderation.

“In the first year of the pandemic I saw the effects it had on my mental health and body,” said Olivia Green, a hairdressing student at Algonquin College. “It has made me realize the happy medium with drinking, instead of binge drinking.”

A study done by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto states that during the first four months of the pandemic, alcohol purchases have increased by more than $250 million.

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