Alcohol sales on the rise during COVID-19 pandemic
Published Thursday, April 30, 2020 9:23PM EDT
KITCHENER -- With bars and restaurants shut down, more Canadians are raising their glasses remotely.
According to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, alcohol sales increased significantly in late March.
CTV News spoke with some customers who say they are buying more, because there isn’t as much to do.
Bryce Barker with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction says there are three reasons people typically increase their alcohol intake.
“Changes in routine, stress and boredom,” he says. “So about 51 per cent of people who have increased their drinking reported that a change in routine was driving it.”
According to a recent Nanos Poll commissioned by the CCSA, since the pandemic began 25 per cent of respondents between the age of 35 and 54 say they have started drinking more.
Dial a Bottle franchisee Veronica Keveryga says there have been a lot of new customers.
“Ever since the quarantine, business has been just like crazy,” she says.
Keveryga says she hired seven new employees in the last month and still needs more.
The increase in alcohol consumption can have a negative impact, though.
A spokesperson for Kitchener-Waterloo Alcoholics Anonymous says they are available online and on the phone.
“I was at a meeting recently and a new gentleman was saying that he felt like he picked the worst time to get sober and what I said to him was, ‘the worst time to get sober is tomorrow. Right now is always a good time to get sober,’” says the spokesperson.
Barkersays alcohol consumption is a habit, and it may become difficult for people to drink less when this is all over.
“For a lot of people, once they come out of the pandemic they might feel like their kind of drawn to keep drinking,” he says. “So that’s what worries us.”
The LCBO sales have started to return to normal.
If you feel the need to speak to a professional you are encouraged to do so.