Updated on March 29, 2024
2 min read

Alcohol Addiction Statistics in Canada

Key Statistics on Alcohol Addiction in Canada

Alcohol consumption is widespread in Canada, but it’s important to understand that alcohol abuse and addiction are serious issues. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of alcohol use in the country by highlighting statistics and trends.

Understanding these statistics can give us some insight into the scope and impact of alcohol abuse. Here are some relevant key statistics you should know about:

Prevalence of Heavy Drinking

  • In 2018, 19.1% of Canadians aged 12 and older were classified as heavy drinkers.
  • The highest proportion of heavy drinkers was among those aged 18 to 34, with 33.5% of males and 23.8% of females in this age group reported as heavy drinkers.
  • The percentage of Canadians considered heavy alcohol drinkers decreased from 19.5% in 2017 to 16.6% in 2020.

Alcohol-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations

  • The number of people who died due to alcohol increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 3,200 deaths related to alcohol recorded in 2019.
  • The number of deaths increased to 3,790 in 2020 and again to 3,875 in 2021.
  • Alcohol consumption in Canada was associated with approximately 15,000 preventable deaths, 90,000 preventable hospital admissions, and 245,000 potential years of life lost in 2014.
  • In Ontario, alcohol consumption causes approximately 4,330 deaths annually, along with another 22,009 hospitalizations and 194,692 emergency department visits.

Youth and Alcohol

  • Close to 80% of young Canadians aged 15 years and older have reported drinking alcohol in the past year.
  • Among Canadian students in grades 7 to 12, the average age of first alcohol use is 13.4 years.
  • Canadian youth in grades 7-12 started drinking at an average age of 13.4 years, with the average age of first having five drinks or more at one time being 14.5 years. 
  • By grades 10-12, 64.5% of youth had used alcohol.

Trends and Patterns in Alcohol Consumption

Changes in Drinking Habits

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than one in five people (22%) reported a decrease in alcohol consumption.
  • On the other hand, 24% believed their consumption had increased.
  • The volume of beer sold per person reached an all-time low from 2021 to 2022, with beer sales declining by 2.8% to 2,061 million liters.
  • Wine sales decreased by 4% from 2021 to 2022, marking the largest decrease recorded by Statistics Canada.

Regional Variations

  • The proportion of heavy drinkers was lower than the national average in Ontario (17.3%) and Manitoba (16.0%).
  • The proportion is higher in Newfoundland and Labrador by 27.7% and 21.2% in Quebec.
  • Canadians residing in rural areas were more likely to report heavy drinking (22.4%) compared to those in urban areas (18%).

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Canadian Resources for Alcohol Use and Addiction

If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol, seek help immediately. There are various resources to educate and help you regarding alcohol use and addiction:

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Updated on March 29, 2024
10 sources cited
Updated on March 29, 2024

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