Alcohol ban is a must says sobriety coach : 'Industries can be rebuilt, once a life is gone it's gone'

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"Parents know in their heart that parenting and alcohol don't mix." (Skynesher/Getty Images)
"Parents know in their heart that parenting and alcohol don't mix." (Skynesher/Getty Images)

Amid the surge in Covid-19 infections, and the undeniable rise in abuse and violent crime, the president has renewed a nationwide ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol.

"The resumption of alcohol sales has resulted in substantial pressure being put on hospitals... due to motor vehicle accidents, violence as well as related trauma that are alcohol-induced," the president said in his address to the nation on Sunday evening.

The swiftly enacted ban has been met with shock and disappointment from the industry, who says the "decision has serious economic consequences".

"The liquor industry has a wide and deep value chain employing almost one million people across the country. The government's decision has serious economic consequences, placing hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk," the South African Liquor Brand owners Association said in a statement

"Why punish everyone?"

 

South Africans expressed mixed emotions about the ban – from criticism ("why punish everyone?") to praise from those who feel it is in "the best interest of the country".

For sobriety coach Janet Gourand the ban is "essential". She says while "industries can be rebuilt, once a life is gone it is gone".

"I am very much in favour of the ban and see it as essential. It is the only way we can instantly clear the space we need in hospitals as we approach the peak of Covid infection... UK death toll is now 45 000 – do we really want to see that in SA?"

A recovering alcoholic herself, Gourand now passionately advocates against the abuse of alcohol through her website World Without Wine. She believes the ban presents the perfect opportunity to highlight the depth of alcoholism in SA.

READ: 10 reasons why parents should support South Africa's alcohol ban

READ: Family in lockdown: Parent24 has you covered

READ80% of SA's male youth deaths are alcohol-related and drug consumption is twice the world norm

'Highest reported alcohol consumption in Africa' 

In 2018, a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) named "South Africa as a country with one of the riskiest patterns of alcohol consumption, with the highest reported alcohol consumption in Africa".

Gourand says it is mostly a slippery slope that we don't see coming and, referencing the WHO, warns that "20% of social drinkers are likely to become dependent over the years".

"Although that glass of wine at the end of the day seems like a just reward for a busy working parent, how many of us stop at just one glass?"

She says for parents alcohol consumption has become normalised, and asks moms and dads to consider becoming proactive in recognising the use of alcohol as an aid to relieve stress.

"Drinking is not something we should be using as a technique to deal with tough times. The lockdown gives families a chance to 'reframe' the alcohol ban – instead of getting angry about it."

Gourand says reaching out for support is the first step, and encourages parents who are interested in seeking support to be unafraid.

"Parents know in their heart that parenting and alcohol don't mix, but it takes confidence and courage to make a stand."

Support is at hand: 

FASD Support Group  021 686 2646

Alcoholics Anonymous South Africa 0861 435 7221

Al-Anon Family Groups 021 595 4508

Healing Wings South Africa  072 140 6081

TOUGHLOVE groups  0861 868 445

Janet Gourand is the founder of WorldWithoutWine.com and hosts a podcast called Goodbye to Alcohol.

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