Mayor launches attack on “power drinking”

Committee to provide education about the harmful effects of alcohol binges



Iqaluit Mayor John Matthews has resurrected a committee on alcohol abuse that died in the late 1980s. The Mayor’s Committee on Alcohol will work toward putting an end to “power drinking,” which often leads to accidents and violence, Matthews said at a March 21 press conference.

Matthews described “power drinking” as imbibing a lot of alcohol in a short period of time for the purpose of getting drunk. He warned it was one of the most pressing problems facing the people of Iqaluit.

The committee is comprised of volunteers from the RCMP, the Qimmavik Women’s Shelter, the Illitiit Society, local churches and managers and owners of local drinking establishments.

There’s a connection between the ways people drink and violence, volunteer Bill Riddell explained. The committee hopes to better educate people about the effects of power drinking and discourage people from doing it.

“If you’re power drinking you’re setting yourself up for a possible accident, or become angry, agitated and get into a fight,” Riddell said. “We’re asking people to look at the way they drink.”

When the body is metabolizing large amounts of alcohol in the system acid aldehide is created, which is similar to amphetamines and causes great changes in mood, Riddell added. People get angry and fearful that other people are against them, and that often leads to violence, he said.

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