According to the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey released by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), fewer Ontario teens are smoking but there are continuing concerns around binge drinking, and driving while under the influence of cannabis and alcohol. The survey, which included 9,288 students across Ontario in grades 7 to 12, is the longest running student survey in Canada.
The survey found that, of those who drink, a third reported drinking hazardously or harmfully. 16% reported being drunk or high at school at least once in the past year.
Alcohol was found to be the substance used by the largest number of students, with 55% of respondents reported drinking alcohol in the past year. While binge drinking rates have dropped from 28% a decade
ago to 22%, this still represents 223,500 high school students in Ontario who are drinking five or more drinks on one occasion at least once a month. 5% reported binge drinking four or more times in the past month. 9% students report harmful drinking patterns in conjunction with elevated psychological distress.
An estimated 175,600 students (18%) reported hazardous or harmful drinking behaviours, and one in 10 students reported injuring themselves or someone
else as a result of their drinking. Theses behaviours were highest amongst students in grade 11 and 12, with boys and girls equally likely to engage in dangerous drinking patterns.
7% of adolescent drivers reported driving within an hour of consuming two or more drinks containing alcohol, representing and estimated 21,500 students. 24% reported getting in to a car with a driver who had been drinking. Drinking and driving has dropped by five percentage points since the last survey in 2009.
For the first time, students were asked whether they had ever operated a snowmobile, boat, Sea-doo or al terrain vehicle after drinking alcohol, with 7% reporting that they had done so in the past year.