Youth Alcohol Consumption - Statistics in Niagara

In Niagara, 42.5 per cent of youth ages 12-19 consume alcohol on a regular or occasional basis. There is no significant difference between youth alcohol consumption in Niagara and Ontario.

Youth Alcohol Consumption in Niagara and Ontario

Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, Statistics Canada, Share File, Ontario MOHLTC.

Hazardous or Harmful Drinking

Hazardous drinking is a pattern of drinking that can lead to a greater chance of medical problems in the future. Harmful drinking is a pattern of drinking that is already damaging the health of the individual.

In Niagara, 13.6 per cent of secondary students are drinking alcohol in a hazardous or harmful way. This is not significantly different than students across Ontario.

Students in Niagara and Ontario that are Drinking at a Hazardous or Harmful Level
Hazardous or harmful drinking Niagara Ontario
All secondary students 13.6% 19.8%

Source: Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, 2015.

Additionally, students were also asked how often they drank alcohol in the 12 months prior to the survey. One in four secondary students in Niagara only drank at special events (23.6 per cent). This is not significantly different than students in Ontario.

How Often Secondary Students Drank Alcohol in the Past 12 Months
How often students drank Niagara Ontario
Have only had a sip 13.0% 14.9%
Only on special occasions 23.6% 23.8%
Once a month or less 16.5% 13.4%
More than once a month 19.7% 21.0%
Never, or not in the past 12 months 27.3% 26.9%

Source: Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, 2015.

Students were also asked about their first time they had more than a few sips of alcohol. In total, 32.6 per cent of secondary students had their first drink before entering high school. This is not significantly different than Ontario.

In addition, students were asked about their first time feeling drunk. Of the secondary students who have been drunk, 18.4 per cent were drunk for the first time in elementary school. This is not significantly different than Ontario.

First time that Secondary Students who have been Drunk, felt Drunk
First time drank enough to feel drunk Niagara Ontario
Grade 8 or before 18.4% 19.9%
Grade 9 34.2% 32.6%
Grade 10 22.3% 26.0%
Grade 11 or 12 25.1% 21.5%

Source: Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, 2015.

Students were asked how often they rode in a vehicle in the past 12 months when they knew that the driver had been drinking. In the past 12 months, 16.2 per cent of secondary students have been a passenger in a vehicle after the driver has consumed alcohol. This is not significantly different than students in Ontario.


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