MPP Anand’s thirteenth Members’ Statement was on the topic of “Alcohol Addiction”, delivered on 20 March 2019.

See full transcript below:

On March 20th, MPP Deepak Anand made a statement about Alcohol Addiction. In a social media post, Deepak stated that he was proud of the Drug Awareness Society’s amazing work to help communities and he Thanked them for their tireless effort to help our society. 

“Today I’m going to talk about an initiative started by a charity to combat a big public health threat that not only threatens my riding but other ridings as well: the threat of alcohol addiction, a public safety issue that needs to be addressed and corrected. Experts contend that the harms of alcohol can far exceed the overall costs to life and society than those of any other infectious disease, addiction or public safety issue.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, any addiction is bad. Alcohol addiction can cause serious damage to individuals and their families. It can result in violence, dangerous accidents, health issues, and even death.

According to a report by the Canadian institute for substance use, in 2014 alone alcohol accounted for $14.6 billion in health care, justice system, lost productivity, and other direct costs.

An alarming 40% of Ontarians drink over the Canadian low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines.

A team of volunteers from the Drug Awareness Society of Toronto—some of them are here in the members’ gallery—have worked for years in alcohol and addictions awareness, specifically targeting the South Asian community. They’re launching their annual Alcohol-Free April Challenge, giving a chance for drinkers to take a pause and engage in healthy dialogue surrounding alcohol, addictions and mental health. They will be on various media platforms. Over the last three years, I have personally seen the positive impact of this initiative. I also took this challenge to bring awareness and promote change, and I’m proud to say that I have been alcohol-free ever since.

I call upon everyone in the chamber to take the Alcohol-Free April Challenge, which happens to be at the same time as Sikh Heritage Month, and spread the word and be the ambassadors of positive change.”

Watch the video below.