Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Heavy Drinking

Historical Trends
Current Prevalence

By Sex
By Age Group
By Income
By Education

Historical Trends

Since 2003, the prevalence of heavy drinking in Simcoe Muskoka has been consistently above the provincial average; however, the prevalence of heavy drinking both locally and provincially has 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

For the purposes of this page, heavy drinking is defined as males consuming 5 or more (or females consuming 4 or more) alcoholic drinks on one occasion at least once per month in the past 12 months. According to the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) in 2015/16, 25% (21.7%, 28.5%) of adults ages 19 years and older reported engaging in heavy drinking.  This was significantly higher than the comparable provincial average of 19% (18.7%, 20.3%).

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By Sex

In Simcoe Muskoka in 2015/16, 31% (25.9%, 36.3%) of adult males reported heavy drinking episodes at least monthly, which was significantly higher than the 19% (14.9%, 24.5%) of adult females that reported heavy drinking at least monthly. This was consistent with the pattern observed with the Ontario-level data; however, heavy drinking was significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with the provincial average for both males and females.

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By Age Group

Heavy drinking also varies by age group. In 2015/16, significantly more Simcoe Muskoka residents in the 19 to 44 year age group (33% (26.3%, 39.7%) reported heavy drinking at least monthly when compared with their older counterparts. Heavy drinking among older adults (45 years of age and older) was significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka (27% (21.1%, 33.1%)) when compared with the province as a whole (19% (17.6%, 20.1%)). Heavy drinking among younger adults (19-44 years) and seniors (65+) was not significantly different in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with Ontario as a whole.

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By Income

In 2015/16 among Ontario adults (19+), heavy drinking increased significantly with higher levels of household income. The same general pattern was observed for Simcoe Muskoka adults over this time period; however, the difference in heavy drinking between the lowest and highest income groups was not statistically significant at the local level.

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By Education

Also in 2015/16, significantly fewer Ontario adults (25 to 64 years of age) with a university degree or higher reported heavy drinking compared to those with lower levels of education; however, heavy drinking did not differ by highest level of education among Simcoe Muskoka adults (25 to 64 years).

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