Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol Use - Adults

Historical Trends
Current Prevalence
By Sex
By Age
By Education and Income

Historical Trends

Since 2000/2001, the current drinking rate in Simcoe Muskoka has been consistently above the provincial rate; however, the rates both locally and provincially remained relatively stable over this time period.

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Due to changes implemented in the CCHS beginning in 2015, comparisons of the 2015-2016 data should NOT be made to results from previous years.

Current Prevalence

According to the 2015/16 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada, 86% (83.1%, 88.5%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults (19 years and older) reported drinking alcohol in the previous 12 months, which was significantly higher than the provincial average of 79% (79.1%, 79.9%).

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Current drinkers can be classified into 2 groups:  regular drinkers (drank alcohol in the past month) and occasional drinkers (drinking alcoholic beverages less than once per month). Also in 2015/16, 70% (67.0%, 73.5%) of adults (19+) reported drinking regularly while 16% (13.1%, 18.6%) drank occasionally. Finally, another 14% (11.5%, 16.9%) of adults 19 years of age and older indicated that they had not consumed any alcohol in the 12 months preceding the survey. The percentage of regular adult drinkers in Simcoe Muskoka is significantly higher when compared with the province as a whole.

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By Sex

In Simcoe Muskoka in 2015/16, the prevalence of regular drinking is significantly higher among adult males (79% (74.8%, 83.4%) when compared with females (62% (56.0%, 66.8%). This was consistent with the pattern observed with the Ontario-level data. Adult regular drinking was significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with the provincial average for both males and females.

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By Age

Regular drinking of alcohol is significantly lower among senior (65 years and older), this is true both within Simcoe Muskoka and across the provincial as a whole. The percentage of Simcoe Muskoka seniors that report as regular drinkers is not significantly different from the provincial average; however, regular drinking among Simcoe Muskoka adults under 65 years of age is significantly higher than the comparable provincial average.

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By Education and Income

Drinking alcohol regularly is highest among those with higher levels of education and income, both in Simcoe Muskoka and for Ontario as a whole; however, regular drinking was more common in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with the provincial average for certain groups. For example, the percentage of adults (25-64 years) with a post-secondary degree that are regular drinkers was significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with Ontario as a whole (84% (74.8%, 89.8%) vs. 68% (65.1%, 69.8%)). Regular drinking was also significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka among adults (19 years and older) living in the lowest income quintile when compared with province as a whole (55% (46.1%, 64.4%) vs. 44% (41.3%, 46.3%)).

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