CAMH survey looks at binge drinking, financial anxiety during coronavirus pandemic

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TORONTO – A recent survey of about 1,000 Canadians suggests heavy drinking is highest among younger people and those worried about personal finances due to the pandemic.

The survey conducted between May 8 and 12 and commissioned by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows nearly 30 per cent of those between 18 and 39 reported heavy episodic drinking at least once in the previous week.

A Statistics Canada report in 2018 reported similar data, saying the highest proportion of heavy drinking was among those aged 18 to 34, with almost 29 per cent of people in that age group reporting binge drinking.

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In the CAMH survey run by research firm Delvinia, nearly 24 per cent of the total number of respondents reported heavy episodic drinking, or binge drinking, which for women is considered four or more drinks on one occasion and five or more drinks for men.

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Those who are very worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their personal finances were more likely to report binge drinking at 28 per cent, than those who were “somewhat worried” at 25 per cent.

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