Real stories of alcohol’s impact in Guelph and Wellington County

Alcohol Stories

We asked doctors, police officers, recovered alcoholics, students, mental health counsellors and political leaders to tell us how alcohol impacts their life and how alcohol-related harms impact our community. Their stories may surprise you. The people you meet in these videos could be your neighbours, your friends or your family members.

Alcohol's Impact

Alcohol use, even at moderate levels, can cause many immediate and long-term medical issues:
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Injuries
  • Cancer , including cancer of the breast, colon and rectum, esophagus, larynx, liver, mouth and pharynx
  • Digestive diseases
  • Addiction
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
This leads to pain and suffering for patients and families.
Hundreds of hospital visits each year in Guelph and Wellington County are directly linked with alcohol use, causing great pain and suffering for victims and families, as well as a burden on our healthcare system.
Alcohol use impairs decision-making and motor control leading to riskier behaviours and negatives outcomes such as violence, risk-taking and injury.
Alcohol use has a serious effect on the wellbeing of families in our community. Approximately 35% of domestic violence cases are linked to alcohol use.
Police deal with many alcohol-related incidents in our community and on our roads, many with serious consequences. Nearly 25% of driving fatalities are related to alcohol.
Many young adults experience negative consequences from drinking alcohol, including hangovers, violence and poor academic performance.
Alcohol use often creates issues for municipalities and property owners, including noise, litter, vandalism and the destruction of property.
Alcohol use can come at a high personal cost and can impact many areas of a person’s life from hangovers, to long-term health issues, to violence and poor academic performance.
Alcohol use affects memory and other brain functions and can lead to impaired work functioning and poor academic performance.

Getting Help

About Us

Alcohol is everywhere. We find it in grocery stores, at farmer’s markets, the LCBO and countless bars and restaurants. We are constantly bombarded by advertising about the latest novelty beverage or craft brew. Marketing campaigns always highlight the positive aspects of drinking alcohol – having fun, celebrating, connecting with friends or enjoying a cold drink on a hot day.

In reality, there is another side to the story. Alcohol has a profound impact on people and communities. Alcohol puts more Canadians in the hospital than heart attacks. It can lead to injuries, disease, family issues, legal problems and financial concerns. It contributes to crime, violence, vandalism and community disruption. Every year, alcohol strains our local healthcare, justice, and municipal resources. We don’t often talk about these issues. Locally, residents of Guelph and Wellington County are more likely to drink in a high-risk way than the rest of Ontarians.

LAST CALL – Real Stories about Alcohol’s Impact in Guelph and Wellington County aims to start a conversation about the ways alcohol causes harm in our communities. We talked with a diverse group of community members about their perspectives on alcohol-related harms in Guelph and Wellington County. We heard stories about personal, health, family, professional and financial impacts of alcohol use. When you start to add up the harms, the real cost of alcohol may surprise you.

This campaign is an initiative of the Alcohol Harm Prevention Working Group of the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy that has been supported by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

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This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between The Guelph Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and, extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.