When it comes to "adult beverages", Canadians are among the world's top three countries that enjoy them the most. A new report suggests that Canadians admit to getting drunk about once a week, which is one of the world's highest rates. Canada ranked third for drunkenness in the world behind the UK and US.
2,000 Canadians were among the 132,000 people across 36 countries that partook in the Global Drug Survey this year. The questionnaire, which evaluated drug and alcohol habits around the world, concluded that Canada ranked third on its global list of drinking. The same report found that Canada ranked second in the world for cocaine use.
Canadians recorded that a typical year consists of 47 days during which they are intoxicated, whereas Americans reported 50 "drunk days" a year. Participants from the United Kingdom took the top spot: they reported the most days under the influence, with 51 drinking days per year.
Although the study did not collect data on what type of alcohol participants preferred, the report did determine that approximately 50% of Canadians surveyed want to cut back on their alcohol consumption in the coming year. In fact, the National Post points out that, according to the study, nearly 20% of Canadians experience regret and consider seeking professional help to consume fewer alcoholic beverages in general.
Elizabeth Trott, professor emeritus at Ryerson University, told the National Post that since drinking is a staple in Canadian culture, Canadians often find it difficult to abstain from the drink.
"Local drug fixes [help] to overcome misery, induce laughter, ward off pain, put in time when too tired to do anything useful [and] Canada, a collection of small communities, is no different," Trott wrote in an email.
Trott also indicated that the rise in drinking today could be due to people feeling isolated in big metropolitan areas. She explained that Canadians have tended to resort back to the same coping mechanism from even before densely-populated cities overtook the country.
"Community habits don’t change easily, even though the reasons for drinking may alter," she wrote.
The report concludes that regardless of rankings, alcohol companies and policymakers can do a lot more to prevent "problem drinking."
"It might be time to look at providing guidelines offering advice on how to get drunk safely and offering some lower risk limits on the frequency of the risky activity and to highlight that for most people they would get as much pleasure when they choose to get drunk if they drank a bit less,” the report states.
“We might at least engage people who at present may see guidelines as irrelevant especially after that fourth drink.”