Updated on February 6, 2024
2 min read

Alcohol Addiction Statistics in Canada

Alcohol Addiction Statistics in Canada

Alcohol is the most commonly used and misused substance in Canada. Understanding Canadian trends in alcohol can help us stay informed regarding alcohol use disorder (AUD) in the country.

  • One in 5 Canadians aged 15+ met the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence over their lifetime6
  • In Canada, approximately 21% of the population will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime10
  • Alcohol was the most common substance for addiction at 18%10
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Deaths Caused by Alcohol Use in Canada

  • 47,000 Canadian deaths are linked to substance abuse each year6
  • There have been 3,790 alcohol-induced deaths in Canada in 2020 and 3,860 in 202111
  • Ontario roadside surveys show that 4.4% of drivers had been drinking in 201712
  • The percentage of fatally injured drivers who had been drinking decreased from 34% in 2008 to 28% in 201612
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Alcohol Abuse (Binge Drinking) Statistics in Canada

  • Nearly 6 million Canadians aged 12 and over report heavy drinking at least once a month4
  • In 2021, 16.6% of Canadians were considered heavy alcohol drinkers2
  • Men were more likely (23.5%) to report heavy drinking than women (14.8%) in 20183
  • Canadians residing in rural areas were more likely to report heavy drinking (22.4%) compared to those living in urban areas (18.4%)3
  • Heavy drinking in 2018 was higher than the national average in Newfoundland, Labrador (27.7%), and Quebec (21.2%)3

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Alcohol Use in Young People in Canada

  • In 2019 alcohol use was higher among young adults aged 20 to 24 (84%) and adults aged 25 years and older (78%) than among youth aged 15 to 19 (46%)1
  • In 2017 More than 44% of students in grades 7 to 12 reported consuming an alcoholic beverage8
  • 64.5% of students in grades 10-12 have reported drinking alcohol in 20178

Alcohol Use Statistics in Canada

  • In January 2021, 66% of Canadians aged 15 or older reported consuming alcohol at least once in the previous 30 days2
  • In 2019 provincial prevalence of alcohol use ranged from 74% in Ontario to 81% in Quebec1
  • In 2020-21 liquor authorities sold the equivalent of 9.7 standard alcoholic beverages a week to Canadians of legal drinking age5
  • In 2017, over 105,000 hospitalizations and over 700,000 emergency department visits were due to conditions caused by alcohol6

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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:

Summary

Alcohol is the most commonly used and misused substance in Canada. More than 44% of students in grades 7 to 12 drank alcohol in 2017.

66% of Canadians aged 15 or older reported consuming alcohol at least once in the 30 days. Meanwhile, 6 million Canadians aged 12 and over report heavy drinking at least once a month.

About 21% of the Canadian population will meet the criteria for addiction in their lifetime. There are 47,000 alcohol-related deaths in Canada each year.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
12 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024

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