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New Health Unit Report Profiles Local Alcohol Use

A new report produced by the local health unit aims to shed some light on the drinking behaviours of area residents as well as highlight the burden of illness related to alcohol consumption within Northumberland and Haliburton counties and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The InFocus on Alcohol report was prepared by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and provides a variety of statistics and details about alcohol use, hospitalizations from alcohol-related chronic diseases, injuries related to alcohol, and alcohol-related deaths. The report also details the Health Unit’s approach to address alcohol misuse in its area.

“These reports are developed using information from a variety of data sources to provide a snapshot of a local health-related issue,” says Anne Marie Holt, Manager of Epidemiology and Evaluation with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Our staff members use these reports to learn more about the health behaviours and attitudes of our residents so that they can plan their programs to best meet community needs.”

Highlights of the report include:

  • Between 2009 and 2010, more than 76 per cent of area residents over the age of 19 years reported drinking alcohol. Of those who reported drinking, more than 61 per cent reported being regular drinkers.

  • In that same time frame, more than one-third of adults aged 19 years and older reported drinking more than was recommended by the Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines (10 drinks a week for women with no more than two a day  most days and 15 drinks a week for men with no more than three a day on most days)

  • The proportion of adults who reported heavy drinking was significantly higher among those in the highest 30 per cent income level than in the lowest 30 per cent

  • In 2009, 60 per cent of students in grades 7 to 12 reported they drank alcohol in the past year

The Health Unit has a number of programs in place to help reduce the rate of alcohol misuse among residents, and works with a number of community partners to increase education, and advocate for strategies and policies around alcohol consumption. These programs include working with youth to educate them about the dangers of alcohol, providing parenting sessions to help address and support families experiencing difficulties related to alcohol misuse, and providing information to increase awareness about the harms of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

The report is posted on the Health Unit’s website at www.hkpr.on.ca under the Data and Stats section.

 

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For media inquiries, contact:

Anne Marie Holt, Manager, Epidemiology and Evaluation Services, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, 905-885-9100, ext. 215 or

Marjorie Oke, Program Co-ordinator, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, 613-475-0933

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