Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Alcohol Use - Adults

Key Messages
Current Prevalence
By Sex
By Age
By Education and Deprivation
Historical Trends

Key Messages

  • Alcohol use is significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with the province overall.
  • More than two-thirds of Simcoe Muskoka adults (19 years and older) reported drinking regularly in the past 12 months.
  • Regular drinking among Simcoe Muskoka adults was significantly higher for males when compared with females.
  • For the Ontario adult population, regular drinking is highest among those with higher levels of education and lower levels of material deprivation. This association is less clear among Simcoe Muskoka adults.

Current Prevalence

According to the 2017/18 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) conducted by Statistics Canada, 85% (82.8%, 87.0%) 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 78% (76.6%, 78.5%). This was little changed from what was reported in the previous survey cycle (2015/16).

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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 2017/18, 69% (65.7%, 72.5%) of adults (19+) reported drinking regularly while 16% (12.9%, 19.2%) drank occasionally. Finally, another 15% (13.0%, 17.3%) 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 overall Ontario average. This was similar to what was reported in 2015/16.

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By Sex

In Simcoe Muskoka in 2017/18, the prevalence of regular drinking is significantly higher among adult males (77% (71.6%, 81.2%) when compared with females (62% (56.8%, 66.7%). 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 province overall. 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 Deprivation

Drinking alcohol regularly is highest among those with higher levels of education, both in Simcoe Muskoka and for Ontario as a whole; however, regular drinking among adults (25 to 64 years) with a post-secondary degree or diploma is significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with the province. Regular drinking is also highest among Ontario adults (19+) living in areas with the least amount of material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalized Index); however, the relationship between material deprivation and regular drinking was not observed among Simcoe Muskoka adults (19+) in 2017/18. A significantly higher percentage of Simcoe Muskoka adults living in the most deprived areas were regular drinkers when compared with the province.

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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.

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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.

Page last updated December 19, 2022