Heavy Drinking, 2009

Heavy drinking refers to having consumed five or more drinks, per occasion, at least once a month during the past year. This level of alcohol consumption can have serious health and social consequences, especially when combined with other behaviours such as driving while intoxicated.

In 2009, 24.8% of males and 9.9% of females reported heavy drinking. A higher proportion of males than females reported heavy drinking in every age group except 12– to 15–year–olds; in that group, there was no significant difference between the sexes. Males aged 18 to 19 (41.6%) and 20 to 34 (40.5%) were the most likely to report heavy drinking, and females 18 to 19 (28.0%) were more likely to report heavy drinking than females in all other age groups (Chart 1).

Chart 1
Percentage who consumed five or more drinks per occasion at least 12 times a year, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009

Description

Chart 1: Percentage who consumed five or more drinks per occasion at least 12 times a year, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2009

Note: E Use with caution (coefficient of variation 16.6% to 33.3%).

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2009.

Among the provinces, the rate of heavy drinking was lower than the national average of 17.3% only in Ontario (15.7%). Residents of Quebec (18.6%), Nova Scotia (20.8%), Prince Edward Island (21.0%), Newfoundland and Labrador (25.1%), Yukon (28.4%) and Northwest Territories (31.1%) reported rates above the national average.

The percentage of 12– to 15–year–olds who had at least one alcoholic drink in the previous year declined from 30.2% in 2001 to 23.4% in 2009; that share changed little from 2008 to 2009 (Chart 2).

The percentage who had at least one alcoholic drink in the past year remained steady between 2001 and 2009 in the age groups between 16 and 24 years (Chart 2).

Chart 2
Percentage who had at least one alcoholic drink in the past year, by age group, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2001 to 2009

Description

Chart 2: Percentage who had at least one alcoholic drink in the past year, by age group, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2001 to 2009

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.


References

Hotton, Tina and Dave Haans. 2004. "Alcohol and drug use in early adolescence." Health Reports. Vol. 15, no. 3. May. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 9–19. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2004/6846-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Pérez, Claudio. 2005. "Passengers of intoxicated drivers." Health Reports. Vol. 16, no. 2. March. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 35–37. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2005/7788-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Tjepkema, Michael. 2004. "Alcohol and illicit drug dependence." Health Reports. Vol. 15 (Supplement). Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 9–19. /pub/82-003-s/2004000/pdf/7447-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Wilkins, Kathryn. 2002. "Moderate alcohol consumption and heart disease." Health Reports. Vol. 14, no. 1. October. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. p. 9–24. /studies-etudes/82-003/archive/2002/6342-eng.pdf (accessed May 10, 2010).

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0501.

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