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Drug & Alcohol Addiction in Ontario: Facts & Stats

Millions of Americans struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, and research consistently suggests that Ontario is a hotbed of substance abuse. Ontario ranks among the states with the highest drug and alcohol dependency rates, with about 10% of the population struggling with some form of addiction.

If you or someone you love struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s easy to feel alone, and even hopeless. Drug addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or a personal choice. Treatment is possible, and the sooner you seek assistance for your drug or alcohol addiction, the more likely a speedy and full recovery will be.

Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teens

Teens use drugs and alcohol in Ontario for a variety of reasons: peer pressure, to cope with stress, to manage untreated mental illness, to defy controlling parents, and to see what the big deal is about. Some key statistics about drug and alcohol use among teens in Ontario include:

  • 90% of teens have used alcohol.
  • 50% of high school seniors have tried marijuana, with 17% trying cocaine and 12.5% trying hallucinogenic drugs.
  • The average age of first drug use is 13, with children as young as 10 classifying drug use as a major problem facing their peers.
  • 40% of college students who report academic problems also use alcohol.
  • Alcohol is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 24.
  • 28% of all college dropouts are directly attributable to alcohol use.
  • 21-year-olds are more likely than any other age group to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • About half of all teens report that prescription drugs are safe, with prescription drugs serving as the leading gateway drug among young drug users. 

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Statistics

For many law enforcement experts, Ontario is ground zero in the war on drug and alcohol addiction. The state is a key stomping ground for drug smugglers and cartels, with a significant portion of illegal narcotics stopping somewhere in the state before they reach their final destination. Unsurprisingly, then, drug and alcohol-related crimes are more common in Ontario than in most other states.

  • Alcohol is the most common source of addiction in the United States, killing more than 40,000 people annually.
  • Alcohol is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, both through overdoses and accidents and through long-term and chronic effects of use, such as liver cirrhosis and hepatitis.
  • 35 out of 36 alcoholics never get any sort of treatment. This makes alcohol addiction the most untreated disease in the state of Ontario.
  • 15% of people who drink alcohol eventually become alcoholics.
  • More than 85% of Ontario residents drink at least once per year. Many drinkers report that alcohol is less dangerous than other drugs, even though it is the leading cause of addiction among adults.

The Effects of Alcohol and Drug Addiction on Life in Ontario

Drug and alcohol addiction don’t just affect the addict or his or her family. Addiction is a community problem and a societal issue, with effects that extend far beyond the addict. When you become addicted, your use touches not only your own life but the lives of people you’ve never met. By using alcohol and drugs, you are contributing to undermining the entire Ontario community.

  • 95% of campus violence can be attributed to alcohol, with about 90% of rapists relying on alcohol to control their victims.
  • Many drugs help fund organized crime or even terrorism. For instance, organizations such as the Taliban and Al Qaeda routinely use the proceeds from poppy sales to fund their illegal activities.
  • 60% of emergency room admissions are due to drugs or alcohol.
  • Prescription drugs are now the leading cause of drug overdoses in South Ontario.
  • 50% of motor vehicle accidents are due to drinking and driving.
  • Drugs and alcohol figure prominently in at least 80% of domestic violence incidents.
  • Alcohol and drug use play a role in about 60% of work performance problems, as well as 40% of industrial accidents.
  • Nationwide, alcohol and drug addiction cost the economy about $600 billion a year, with Ontario losing tens of billions to addiction annually.

Why is Drug and Alcohol Addiction Considered a Disease?

To a bystander, drug and alcohol addiction might seem like a choice. No one, after all, puts a gun to the addict’s head and forces him or her to use it. But doctors now classify alcohol and drug addiction as diseases—no different from diabetes or heart failure.

And like other diseases, drug and alcohol addiction necessitate prompt and effective treatment. Steady use of drugs and alcohol gradually changes the way the brain and body function, and once you become dependent on alcohol or drugs, quitting without assistance can prove nearly impossible—and potentially dangerous.

Contact Addiction Rehab Centres Canada today!

Further Reading:

Enter an Ontario Drug Rehab Program
How to Choose a Drug Treatment Facility in Ontario
Prescription Drug Abuse in Ontario
What to Do If Your Child is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol
Detox Center in Ontario