Pete McMartin: Reconsidering my relationship with alcohol
I’m hungover this morning.
It was a friend’s birthday party. A cocktail started off the evening, the main course of mussels stewed in a pot of Pinot Grigio, and by the end of the five-hour dinner, four empty bottles of chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon littered the table. We washed down the dessert of cheese and chocolates with a Portuguese white port and a B.C. fruit wine.
We had a great time. I don’t remember going to bed.
At one point in the evening, conversation turned to the subject of the latest study on the safety of liquor consumption. We were aware of the irony. According to new guidelines posted in a study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction — guidelines compiled after the centre assessed over 5,000 studies on alcohol consumption and its effects — we birthday celebrants had collectively exceeded our limits, since those guidelines recommended the consumption of no more than between zero and two alcoholic beverages per week. To do otherwise — which is to say, what I had been doing for much of my adult life — would be to significantly increase the chances of serious health issues, including a whole range of cancers (breast, colon, liver, esophageal, throat, mouth), and an attendant rise in the chances of suffering coronary diseases and stroke depending on how much you exceeded the recommended consumption levels.
Leave a Reply