Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
Health Canada has released new data about the amount of alcohol and cannabis Canadians are consuming through the pandemic.
The government has been conducting web panel surveys throughout the past year to get a grasp of how Canadians are reacting to the ongoing pandemic. The latest survey, which included 3,941 respondents between the ages of 15 and 90, focuses on alcohol and cannabis habits.
Overall, the survey found that the habits of most Canadians who were already consuming alcohol and cannabis pre-pandemic have remained relatively stable.
Of those who previously reported consuming alcohol, about a quarter (24 per cent) said their intake had increased, while a similar amount (22 per cent) said their consumption had decreased. Overall, of those who consume alcohol, close to one in five people (18 per cent) reported having five or more drinks — the equivalent of a bottle of wine — on the days that they drank. That’s an increase from 2017, when 11 per cent of Canadians polled reported having had five or more drinks on the days they consumed alcohol.
Of the respondents who had previously consumed cannabis, 34 per cent said they are consuming more during the pandemic. Within that group, 35 per cent of respondents reported they consumed weed five or more days per week.
“Some may have had more free time to consume alcohol and non-medical cannabis, while others may have increased their consumption in an effort to relieve boredom or fight loneliness,” notes the study.
About 12 per cent of cannabis consumers noted they had reduced their consumption.
The majority of both cannabis and alcohol consumers, 54 per cent in both cases, reported no significant change in their consumption habits, though the survey notes those individuals were already consuming each substance in significant amounts.