Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol & Drugs

This section of HealthSTATS presents information related to the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs among Simcoe Muskoka residents. Misuse refers to the harmful or problematic use of alcohol, illicit drugs and legal drugs. The data sources for this information include: Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), emergency department data from (NACRS), and hospital discharges from the (DAD).

Highlights from this topic include:

Hospital Stays for Harm Caused by Substance Use

Alcohol Use

  • Significantly more Simcoe Muskoka adults drink in excess of the Canadian Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines compared with the province as a whole.
  • Approximately one-in-four Simcoe Muskoka adults engage in heavy drinking at least once per month.
  • Approximately one-quarter of Simcoe Muskoka high school students reported binge drinking in the previous month.
  • There are approximately 60 deaths and 600 hospitalizations per year in Simcoe Muskoka that could be attributed to alcohol use.
  • Although alcohol consumption increases with higher levels of income, alcohol-related harms (like deaths and hospitalizations) disproportionately impact those with lower levels of income.

Drug Use

  • Approximately one-in-four Simcoe Muskoka student in Grade 7 to 12 reporting using cannabis in the past year; however, only 1 in 10 adults in Simcoe Muskoka reported using cannabis in the past year.
  • Emergency visits for opioid poisonings have increased significantly over the past decade or so in both Simcoe Muskoka and Ontario overall; however, the rates in Simcoe Muskoka are significantly higher when compared to the province as a whole.
  • In 2021, there were 175 opioid poisoning deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, with the vast majority related to fentanyl. Opioid-related deaths have increase substantially since the start of the pandemic.