Alcoholism in Canada

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse statistics reveal that in Canada an estimated 4 percent of the population over the age of 15 is dependent on alcohol. There are twice as many male alcoholics as female alcoholics.

The highest rate of alcoholism occurs in Canadians between the ages of 20 and 24. In Canadian surveys, about 20% of the current and former drinkers stated that their alcoholic drinking negatively affected them, usually affecting their jobs or their finances. The problem of alcoholism can be seen from a variety of perspectives: biological (how alcohol affects the body), psychological (how it affects the mind) and sociological (how alcohol is provided and consumed in society).

Programs and counselling for alcoholism

A variety of programs to treat alcohol-related problems exist in Canada. Some programs treat alcoholics directly, while others offer referrals to treatment facilities, provide counselling for families of alcoholics or provide programs on alcoholism prevention, drinking and driving, and so on. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and a variety of government-sponsored programs (some affiliated with health-care institutions, others existing only to treat alcoholism) are directly concerned with providing assistance to alcoholics.

A heavy drinker is:

  • Twice as likely to die of heart disease;
  • Twice as likely to die of cancer;
  • Twelve times more likely to die of cirrhosis of the liver;
  • Three times more likely to die in a road traffic accident;
  • Six times more likely to commit suicide.

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