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Can J Public Health. 2003 Jan-Feb;94(1):17-21.

Heavy drinking on Canadian campuses.

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Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, and Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, Toronto.



To describe the prevalence and frequency of heavy drinking episodes among Canadian undergraduates.


Data are drawn from the Canadian Campus Survey, a national mail survey, conducted in the fall of 1998, with a random sample of 7,800 students from 16 universities.


Overall, 62.7% and 34.8% of students reported consuming 5 or more drinks and 8 or more drinks, respectively, on a single occasion at least once during the fall semester. On average, drinkers reported having 5 or more drinks almost 5 times during the fall semester, and having 8 or more drinks almost twice during the same period. The groups reporting the highest rates of heavy drinking were males, those living in university residences, those with low academic orientation and those with high recreational orientation.


Generally, this study has shown that heavy drinking is highly engrained in Canadian undergraduates' drinking patterns, and is related to a number of factors. These factors can be used to develop targeted prevention efforts.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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