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Young adults more likely to smoke cannabis than drink before driving, 2011 CAMH Monitor survey shows
Date:11/28/2012

For Immediate Release November 28, 2012 (Toronto) Most adults are drinking responsibly, and fewer are smoking or using illicit substances but several areas of concern were found in the 2011 CAMH Monitor survey of Ontario substance use trends, released today by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

"More young adults are reporting that they drive within an hour of using cannabis - even more than those who report drinking and driving," says Dr. Robert Mann, CAMH Senior Scientist and lead researcher. "Yet the risks of doing so are significant." Nine per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds report driving after cannabis use, versus six per cent in this age range who report drinking two or more drinks and driving.

The 2011 CAMH Monitor, which included 3,039 adults aged 18 or older from across Ontario, is the longest ongoing survey of adult substance use in Canada.

Cannabis users are also aging, the survey found. Those aged 50 or older now account for 16 per cent of all adult users of cannabis, which is five times higher than in 1977.

Alcohol Use Most Ontario adults report drinking alcohol in the past year (81 per cent), but the majority does not drink excessively. Alcohol use is a concern when there are harmful drinking patterns, which occur in certain groups.

"Women are drinking more than in the past," says Dr. Mann. "Several key drinking indicators show an increase among women." Six per cent of women reported a pattern of drinking daily in 2011, compared to three percent in 1998. About eight per cent of women were drinking in ways that were hazardous or harmful, up from five per cent in 1998.

"Binge drinking also remains high, particularly among 18- to 29-year olds," notes Dr. Mann. "Overall, nine per cent of Ontario drinkers consume five or more drinks at one time each week, which represents 691,700 people." The survey also showed that the average number of drinks consumed weekly has increased,
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Contact: Michael Torres
media@camh.ca
416-595-6015
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Source:Eurekalert

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