The shocking figures have just been released by the Canadian pressure group Mothers Against Drunk Driver’s, (MADD) who campaign to highlight the dangers of drink and/or drug driving. The group was formed in 1989by a group of Canadian Mums who had suffered the heartbreaking loss of a family member or friend in road traffic crashes involving drugs and alcohol.

 

In 2014, road crashes claimed an estimated 2,297 lives. Based on testing of fatally-injured drivers, more than half, (55.4%) of these deaths resulted from crashes in which an individual was positive for alcohol and/or drugs.

 

299 deaths, or 13%, occurred in crashes involving individuals who were positive for alcohol alone.618 deaths, or 26.9%, occurred in crashes involving individuals who were positive for drugs alone.356 deaths, or 15.5%, occurred in crashes involving individuals who were positive for both alcohol and drugs. The number of fatalities involving drugs alone is double those involving alcohol alone, and reflects the growing incidence of driving after drug use. Cannabis, the most commonly-found drug, is present in almost half of the drug-positive fatal crashes.

 

Despite the fact it is illegal to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 in Canada, almost 28% of Canadian youths aged 12 to 17 reported consuming an alcoholic beverage in the previous 12 months. Among those who did drink, 41.8% of them did so at least once a month and 4.0% of youngsters were classified as heavy drinkers.

 

The 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey included questions on alcohol use during the last week. According to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, 16.6% of Canadians are consuming alcohol at a level that puts their long term health at risk.

 

Excessive alcohol consumption can have serious health and social consequences, especially when combined with other behaviours such as driving while intoxicated. For males, heavy drinking refers to having consumed five or more drinks, per occasion, at least once a month during the past year. For females, heavy drinking refers to having consumed four or more drinks, per occasion, at least once a month during the past year.

 

According to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, long term risks for alcohol consumption are liver disease and certain cancers. Males are classified at risk if they had more than 15 drinks in the week of reporting or at least one day with 4 or more drinks. Females are classified at risk if they had more than 10 drinks in the week of reporting or at least one day with 3 or more drinks.

 

Health professionals and specialist treatment centres such as Canada’s Addiction Rehab Thousand Islands understand the pervasive nature of alcohol and how consumption can quickly and quietly increase to potentially dangerous and addictive levels.

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Phone: (855) 885-5805
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