Record number of people died from alcohol and drug use during the pandemic: StatsCan – CBC

Younger generations made up the largest proportion of the deaths related to alcohol

Jan 12, 2023

The number of people who died due to alcohol increased to “new highs” during the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada says in data published today.

The federal agency’s preliminary data shows that in 2019, before the pandemic, 3,200 deaths related to alcohol were recorded. A year later, the number of deaths increased to 3,790, and increased again in 2021 when there were 3,875 alcohol-induced deaths.

The 18 per cent increase from 2019 to 2020 was the largest year-over-year change seen in the last 20 years, Statistics Canada noted. Alcohol-induced deaths are those attributed to one of the causes of death listed in the report, which include alcoholic liver disease, accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol, and finding of alcohol in blood.

“These are large increases, particularly [because] these numbers tend to be relatively static,” said Dr. Timothy Naimi, director of the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and professor at the university’s School of Public Health and Social Policy.

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