Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Alcohol & Drugs

Heavy Drinking

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

Key Messages

  • Heavy drinking is significantly higher in Simcoe Muskoka when compared with the province overall.
  • Approximately one-quarter of Simcoe Muskoka adults (19 years and older) engaged in heavy drinking at least once per month in the past year.
  • Heavy drinking is most prevalent among males and younger adults.

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 2017/18, 26% (21.7%, 30.1%) of Simcoe Muskoka adults ages 19 years and older reported engaging in heavy drinking.  This was significantly higher than the comparable provincial average of 19% (18.1%, 19.7%). This was little changed from what was reported in the previous survey cycle (2015/16).

 

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By Sex

In Simcoe Muskoka in 2017/18, 32% (23.5%, 42.0%) of adult males reported heavy drinking episodes at least monthly, which was significantly higher than the 20% (16.2%, 23.5%) 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 2017/18, significantly more Simcoe Muskoka residents in the 19 to 44 year age group (34% (28.2%, 41.3%) reported heavy drinking at least monthly when compared with their older counterparts. Heavy drinking was significantly higher among Simcoe Muskoka adults when compared with the provincial average for all age groups.

 

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By Deprivation

In 2017/18 among Ontario adults (19+), heavy drinking was highest among those living in areas with the least amount of material deprivation (as measured by the 2016 Ontario Marginalized Index). This same pattern was not observed among the Simcoe Muskoka adult population.

 

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By Education

Also in 2017/18, 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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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 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.

Page last updated December 19, 2022