Dr. Hasan Sheikh is shaking his head over the provincial government’s desire to allow alcohol to be sold in corner stores.
In an opinion piece in the Toronto Star, Dr. Sheikh says alcohol is a far more dangerous drug than fentanyl, claiming more lives and resulting in tens of thousands more hospitalizations.
Dr. Sheikh points to an 18 percent increase in alcohol-related emergency room visits after the previous Liberal government allowed beer and wine to be sold in grocery stores – twice the rate of all emergency room visits.
“Alcohol is prevalent and accepted in our society, but alcohol addiction is a devastating disease that is underrecognized and undertreated. In 2017, 3,996 people died from opioid poisoning — and make no mistake, the opiate crisis is a public health emergency. But the last time it was studied for alcohol was in 2002, and in that year 4,258 people had died from the direct consequences of alcohol use. The rate was climbing then, and I expect it is even higher today. In 2016, there were over 77,000 hospitalizations for alcohol, completely eclipsing the 6,072 hospitalizations for opioid poisoning.”– Dr Hasan Sheikh
With the above in mind, Dr. Sheikh wonders why the government would spend millions of dollars to make alcohol even more accessible.