Alcohol Use and Harms, Highlights

  • Alcohol is the psychoactive substance most commonly used by Canadian youth, with 90.8% of youth having used alcohol in their lifetime and 82.9% having used alcohol in the past 12 months
  • The mean age at which youth started drinking alcohol was 15.6 years.
  • Of the 82.9% of youth who consumed alcohol over the past year, over one third (36.9%) reported doing so at least once a week, and 33.7% reported consuming 5 or more drinks per typical drinking occasion.
  • The most common drinking pattern among youth is light/infrequent (38.7%).
  • Among youth, 13.8% of past-year drinkers reported heavy drinking at least once a week, and 46.0% reported doing so at least once monthly.
  • Youth had higher rates than the general population of reported lifetime harms (33.7% versus 24.2%) and harms in the past year (21.8% versus 8.8%) as a result of their own drinking.

Excerpt from: "Substance Use by Canadian Youth - A National Survey of Canadians' Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs - Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS) (2007)