Alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption on the decline, but excessive alcohol consumption on the rise among Quebecers: survey

MONTREAL – A survey conducted last month on the alcohol consumption of Quebecers during the COVID-19 pandemic indicates for the first time that a trend reversal is taking place: more Quebecers have reduced their consumption than they did ‘increased, but more people exceeded recommended drinking limits.

The fifth survey carried out by CROP for Éduc’alcool since the start of the health crisis shows that 70% of respondents have not changed their consumption, 16% have reduced it and 14% have increased it. On the other hand, the arrival of summer and the reopening of bars and restaurants have contributed to more Quebecers exceeding the recommended limits than in April. The survey found that 27% of respondents exceeded recommended limits two or more times, up from 22% last May.

The top three reasons for the increase in alcohol consumption have remained the same: reduced anxiety, boredom, and increased time spent at home. In fact, 81 percent of respondents to the last survey said home is the place to drink.

Dominic Bourdages, vice president of CROP, noted that reversing trends over time illustrates that there can be a shift from compensatory drinking to party drinking, which also comes with its own risks.

The survey is based on 1,001 responses collected between September 15 and 22 and respondents were recruited through a web panel. The four previous identical surveys were conducted in April, May and November 2020, as well as last May.

– This report by La Presse Canadienne was first published in French on October 13, 2021.