Page last updated: August 17, 2017

Quebecers are drinking less overall, but excessive drinking remains high

Drinking heavily and sex do not mix Éduc’alcool’s latest publication, Alcohol and Health, Alcohol and Sex, was released in March. The publication, concludes that while the disinhibiting effect of alcohol can sometimes help develop intimate relationships, alcohol abuse can lead to a real disaster, both in terms of romantic relationships and sexual relationships. Taken beyond moderate drinking, alcohol can generate a range of problems, including increasing the vulnerability of people intoxicated to various forms of sexual violence. The publication highlights the known and lesser known issues of alcohol use and its effects and discusses the implications for sexual functioning and risky sexual behaviour, as well the link between alcohol and sexual violence. educalcool.qc.ca/ wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Alcohol-and-Sex.pdf Responsible drinking organisation Éduc’alcool has published a study indicating that Quebecers have reduced their alcohol consumption over the past 10 years. The survey results are based on 1,139 telephone interviews conducted from February 20 to March 20, 2017, with a representative sample of the Quebec population age 15 and over.

Quebecers are drinking a little less per week than previously reported. In 2017, they had an average of 2.8 drinks a week, compared to 3.3 a week in 2012.

• There has also been a slight reduction since 2012 in the number of drinks per occasion. Quebecers age 15 and older have an average of 2.2 drinks per occasion, whereas, five years ago, they reported having 2.5 drinks per occasion.

• The percentage of people who have 4 drinks or more per occasion dropped from 17% in 2012 to 12% in 2017. These results show that Éduc’alcool’s messages are having an impact. Nevertheless, despite efforts to increase awareness, more than a quarter of Quebec drinkers (24% of women and 28% of men) still exceed the low-risk drinking guidelines at least once a month.

• 49% of Quebec drinkers believe that having one or two drinks a day on a regular basis is bad for your health. That’s up 11 percentage points from 2012.

• In the last year, 11% of drinkers felt that their drinking was affecting their physical health. This is a significant increase over the 2012 results (6%).

• 77% of the population considers it a crime to drive after drinking too much. That’s down 6 percentage points from 2012 (83%).

• The percentage of Quebec drivers who noticed a police sobriety checkpoint in the last year dropped 8 points, from 37% in 2012 to 29% in 2017. The number of drivers who were actually stopped at Quebecers are drinking a little less per week than previously reported. In 2017, they had an average of 2.8 drinks a week, compared to 3.3 a week in 2012.

• There has also been a slight reduction since 2012 in the number of drinks per occasion. Quebecers age 15 and older have an average of 2.2 drinks per occasion, whereas, five years ago, they reported having 2.5 drinks per occasion.

• The percentage of people who have 4 drinks or more per occasion dropped from 17% in 2012 to 12% in 2017. These results show that Éduc’alcool’s messages are having an impact. Nevertheless, despite efforts to increase awareness, more than a quarter of Quebec drinkers (24% of women and 28% of men) still exceed the low-risk drinking guidelines at least once a month.

• 49% of Quebec drinkers believe that having one or two drinks a day on a regular basis is bad for your health. That’s up 11 percentage points from 2012.

• In the last year, 11% of drinkers felt that their drinking was affecting their physical health. This is a significant increase over the 2012 results (6%).

• 77% of the population considers it a crime to drive after drinking too much. That’s down 6 percentage points from 2012 (83%).

• The percentage of Quebec drivers who noticed a police sobriety checkpoint in the last year dropped 8 points, from 37% in 2012 to 29% in 2017. The number of drivers who were actually stopped at such a checkpoint was also down, from 30% to 24%.

• The number of people who associate messages of moderation with Éduc’alcool continues to grow, increasing from 5% in 2002 to 19% in 2017. But, once again this year, such messages are more frequently associated with the government or the SAQ than with Éduc’alcool.

• There has been a notable increase in overall awareness of Éduc’alcool, from 68% in 2012 to 82% in 2017.

educalcool.qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ Quebecers-and-Alcohol-2017.pdf
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