Drinking way, way, way up in Saskatchewan thanks to kids, survey finds

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Kids from FoxBow Junior High enjoying a few brews over lunch hour
  • People from SK get drunk more often than anyone else in any of the G20 countries
  • Saskatchewanites do not understand the concept of moderation, with anything
  • Average age people from SK start drinking is 8 years, 10 years lower than national average

OTTAWA, Ontario – The results of the 2019 Canadian Alcohol Consumption Survey, published yesterday, revealed that people living in Saskatchewan get drunk more times per year than people from anywhere else in Canada. And most concerning to Health Canada is that the province’s numbers are up in large part due to younger people starting to bend elbows with their friends in elementary and junior high school.

Dr. Al Cohol, an addiction psychologist and founder of the Canadian Alcohol Consumption Survey, said respondents from Saskatchewan are drinking far too much, too often, at too young an age, and they regard getting completely rinsed as the entire point of a night out as opposed to drinking to enhance the evening.

“Saskatchewanites have never grasped the notion of moderation. Whether it’s cheering for the Riders, farming, bush parties, or consuming alcohol, it’s not part of the culture that is common in the province that is very easy to draw,” he said. “They need to understand that it is more fun, and much easier on the wallet, when you remember what you did the night before.”

According to the survey, people from Saskatchewan aged 9 and older consumed 80.6 litres of alcohol per capita in 2018 – 64.1 litres more than the Canadian average, and a whopping 72.3 litres more than the world average. In 2019 to date, Saskatchewan is already looking to far exceed its 2018 per capita consumption.

Saskatchewan’s westerly neighbour, Alberta, came in 8th at 8.5 litres per head. The survey respondents in Alberta stated less disposable income as the reason why the oil-rich province’s numbers are way down since early 2015, but each respondent noted that, “they’d be back once the economy improves.”

Addiction research and survey scientist

“You see, what we have happening here is a bit of skew for Saskatchewan numbers seeing as people there are starting to drink at a much younger age. Thirty-five per cent of respondents from the rectangular province reported an age less than 13 years old and that’s very concerning, especially considering that these minors are hitting the hard home-made stuff,” continued Dr. Cohol.

The survey presumes that the Saskatchewan consumption numbers may also be underestimated because many of those contacted for the survey were too drunk to provide a coherent answer. “Realistically, the SK numbers could be in the triple digits!”

Second on the list consuming 17.6 litres per capita is Newfoundland, followed closely by the rest of the maritime provinces.

Here’s a look at how Saskatchewan compares to other provinces and regions in Canada when it comes to drinking alcohol:

Alcohol consumption by region in Canada. SK is clearly an outlier.

Ronnie-May Lavigne, Saskatchewan’s Assistant Deputy Health Minister, believes that there is no problem with the study’s findings. Mrs. Lavigne spoke to 2P News’ health reporter Cynthia Redbush this morning.

Saskatchewan’s Assistant Deputy Health Minister

“These figures don’t phase me and I don’t believe they are a problem – in fact, I expected our numbers to be in the triple digits. You see, here in Sask, we drink. That’s the long and short of it. We drink and we farm, and most of the time we do them simultaneously. unlike most other provinces where drunk driving is pandemic amongst teenagers, our teens can handle their booze quite well behind the wheel. it all starts from training them to operate combines at around age 10 after 6 or 7 drinks. If they can keep straight lines in a field, they can keep an ol’ pickup pointed straight on the road” – Mrs. Lavigne, Assistant Deputy Health Sinister

Meanwhile, alcohol consumption is significantly down in British Columbia, in very large part due to an order-of-magnitude jump in marijuana consumption since giggle twig was legalized by the Liberals in fall of 2018.

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