The main objective of this survey is to collect information on Canadians' use of alcohol and drugs. Health Canada and other organizations will use the information to monitor changes in alcohol and drug use.
Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.
Block Information Confidentiality
Data are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19. Your information will be kept strictly confidential.
Block Information Record linkage
To enhance the data from this survey and reduce response burden, Statistics Canada may combine the information you provide with data from other surveys or administrative sources.
Block Information Topics covered in the survey
Topics covered in the survey
The survey asks questions about
- frequency of alcohol use
- frequency of cannabis use
- frequency of use of other drugs
- potential harmful effects of using alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.
Block Information on Published data
Statistics Canada publishes the results of its surveys in many formats. To find all the documents related to this survey, follow the links below and type the name of the survey in the search engine located at the left of your screen to filter the results.
Data: You will find tables, profiles of a community or region, thematic maps, public use microdata files, and data visualization tools.
Analysis: You will have direct access to Stats in brief (e.g., releases from The Daily, fact sheets), articles and reports, and journals and periodicals.
Block Information on Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers
1. Why should I respond to the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey?
Your participation in the survey will provide important Canadian data that will be used by the federal government and researchers across Canada to help Canadians maintain and improve their health. Your information will lead to a better understanding of Canadian trends in alcohol and drug use.
For example, the results will enable us to compare trends in cannabis consumption prior to and following the recent legalization of this drug. Your participation will help us produce high-quality data that can be used to inform decision-making. This information is vital to the effective development and implementation of national and provincial strategies, policies and programs aimed at reducing the harms associated with the use of these substances.
2. Should I respond to the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey even if I consume alcohol or drugs only occasionally or not at all?
This information is just as important since it will help paint a picture of how many Canadians, from province to province, use and do not use these substances. A true picture of Canadians can be obtained only from talking to everyone selected to participate in the survey regardless of their behaviours.
3. How many cycles of the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey have there been?
Until 2017, Statistics Canada, on behalf of Health Canada, conducted a survey entitled "Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey" (CTADS), which collected data on tobacco as well as alcohol and drugs. Starting with the collection of the 2019 Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CADS), content on alcohol and drugs is being collected on its own. Planning for future surveillance tools for the tobacco portion of the CTADS is under way.
4. How does the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey differ from the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey?
Though the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey has kept many alcohol- and drug-related questions that were part of the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, many new questions have been added. For example, questions have been added on maternal experiences with cannabis and alcohol, injectable drug use, overdoses, and treatment. The vast majority of questions related to tobacco were removed.
5. How does the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey differ from other surveys on similar topics?
This survey provides detailed and comprehensive information from a health perspective that is not available from other surveys. The results from the Canadian Alcohol and Drugs Survey allow us to better understand the behaviours of Canadians related to alcohol and drugs, including cannabis, as well as monitor consumption trends over time.
Participants are asked questions on the substances they are consuming and the frequency of consumption (over their lifetime, the last 12 months, and, for some substances, over the last 3 months, 30 days and 7 days), as well as questions on methods of consumption, how the substance is obtained, whether substances are combined, etc.
- Questionnaires, definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 5289