General Question

dannyc's avatar

Are people drinking alcohol more than ever?

Asked by dannyc (5257points) May 22nd, 2009

In spite of campaigns to make it seem politically incorrect, I sense that more alcohol is being consumed than ever. Governments, hypocrites that they are, on the one hand are grabbing their tax revenues, while lecturing us on its evils.

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14 Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

Well since they lifted restrictions on hard liquor commercials they have assured a future revenue stream with high minded ads like this one to attract adults

rooeytoo's avatar

Drunkeness seems to be more acceptable. Used to be only kids bragged about how drunk they were over the weekend, now everyone brags or at least broadcasts, it doesn’t seem it is anything to be ashamed of anymore.

RedPowerLady's avatar

It wouldn’t suprise me. How many people do you know that have fun without beer?

In fact I am surprised, repeatedly, how much of an issue that has become in our life. We have lost friends over it because they just can’t seem to do anything without drinking. I’ve asked people “if you didn’t drink, what would you do for fun?” and have them get seriously pissed off at me. It is craziness.

Me and my husband do not drink. I actually had one person invite us to a BBQ and then ask us if we drink. When we said no they said no more about it. What the heck?

Do we have to be drinkers to have fun? No. But I guess most people do.

sorry about the rant, it becomes quite frustrating after awhile

dannyc's avatar

I have a particular interest in the subject from my distant past, and see a strange return to a sort of reverence of its virtues. I am not against drinking at all, in moderation and in context, but see, once again the marketers and stewards hypocritically changing the standards.

SeventhSense's avatar

True. I always find that odd too. I don’t drink either but I have no issue with people having a couple cocktails. I always feel that people who are not comfortable with non drinkers are probably serious drinkers so I don’t sweat it if they’re not comfortable around abstainers.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@SeventhSense Nice to know it is not a solitary problem :)

Loried2008's avatar

I am! lol >not a drunk though<

ratboy's avatar

We’re doing our best.

Bobbydavid's avatar

I don’t think so. Less bars exist than ever, more emphasis is put on health but unfortunately associated problems with drinking are more widely accessable now so we believe there to be a problem that has always existed although currently statistically on a lesser scale

DarkScribe's avatar

Dunno. How much “ever” do they drink?

mattbrowne's avatar

Maybe it has to do with recessions:

April 23, 2009

Although the economic outlook continues to look bleak, more Canadians are still paying to keep their beer mugs and wine glasses full, according to a new Statistics Canada report. The agency reported Thursday that sales of beer, wine and spirits have gone up by 5.4 per cent in the last year to $6.8 billion. In 2007–08, alcohol sales had only seen a 1.6 per cent increase. Brent Barr, a marketing and retail business instructor at Ryerson University in Toronto, said even though Canadians are being hit hard in their wallets, they’re still willing to shell out to enjoy daily pleasures.

“These are small luxuries,” Barr said Thursday. “People are backing off big purchases in the auto industry. They’re not buying a car this year, but they still like having a glass of wine or a beer with friends. We’re returning to the daily small pleasures.”

Statistics Canada reported that between January and February alone, alcohol sales jumped by 2.3 per cent across the country, leading to sales of $1.4 billion. Barr predicts these sales will continue as the economy eventually rebounds. “This says something about our economy. It’s not as bad as everyone is saying it is,” Barr said. “In general, people are still buying. Yet they’re more cautious of how to spend their money wisely.”

Chris Layton, a spokesman with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, said the agency is expecting liquor sales to soften as the economy strengthens. “People will still buy alcohol, but they’re going to be looking to stretch their dollars,” he said. “They’re going to look for value and pay a little bit less when making their purchases.” Layton said during the 1990s, when the Canadian economy was going through a similar downturn, liquor sales also swung up. “One of the things we noticed is that consumers are still buying alcohol, but they’re buying more for home consumption,” Layton said. “When the economy is slower. People don’t go out as much to bars or restaurants. They’ll buy more for home entertaining and get-togethers with friends.”

In the last few months, the LCBO has also seen a surge in sales of Ontario-made wines, a product of more knowledgeable consumers who want to support their local producers, Layton said. Statistics Canada reported that in February, total retail sales unexpectedly went up 0.2 per cent to $33.7 billion. Economists had expected at 0.3 per cent decline in February sales.

dynamicduo's avatar

More than ever? I doubt that. More than usual? Certainly so. Great article @mattbrowne – that’s one benefit of very few to having the government control the liquor and beer markets, perfect statistics. And a great bottle return program too.

Something to note about the above report is that more people are buying alcohol from stores, not necessarily going out and drinking. Furthermore, there is no way to know from such a report whether one person or many people are consuming the product, nor if the return rate has been changed which would indicate a faster or slower rate of consumption. I can think of at least a few ways where these are significant – buying alcohol for a house party would result in this increase but not “people drinking more alcohol than ever”, buying and stockpiling booze also results in the same. I believe this is supported in that article by the line, “People are backing off big purchases in the auto industry. They’re not buying a car this year, but they still like having a glass of wine or a beer with friends. We’re returning to the daily small pleasures.”

However it is true that people drink more when times are rough, even when money is tight.

bea2345's avatar

Alcohol is a serious problem in Trinidad and Tobago – a study done in the mid-nineties estimated that some 40% of all hospital admissions in Port of Spain were alcohol-related. There is little reason to believe that it is any different now.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Per capita alcohol consumption is not increasing in the U.S. and in many other countries, although the public perception is that consumption is epidemic.

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