According to the latest available Canada Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey the following statistics show some alarming trends but also some reasons for optimism.
- Canada alcohol use by teens has decreased since previous years. In 2004 more than 82% of Canadian teens reported using alcohol but in 2011 only a little over 70% of teens reported this activity.
- The use of cannabis in the last year has been reduced for both sexes and most age groups. This rate dropped roughly 6% for males in the last 5 years, and around 4% for females during the same time period. In teens and young adults who are between the ages of 15 and 24 years old the use of cannabis dropped by more than 15% from 2006 and 2011. This shows that prevention efforts are having an effect.
- Canada alcohol and drug use among teens is still very high when compared to previous levels. When marijuana use is excluded the Canada Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey shows that the rate of use among teens is a little under 5% in 2011 compared to just over 1% half a decade ago.
- Alcohol use among Canadians who are at least 15 years old has not gone up or down but has stayed relatively stable, but the rate is still high at close to 78% of Canada’s population reporting at least one drink in the last month.
- The rate of psychoactive prescription medication abuse in the last year has actually gone down , dropping from a high in 2010 of 26% to a little under 23% in 2011.