Drinking to excess

A new study suggests much of the drinking done in Canada is being done in excess.

TORONTO — A new study suggests much of the drinking done in Canada is being done in excess.

Researchers from the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research say that at least half of alcoholic drinks — and probably much more — is being consumed on days or in weeks when drinkers have exceeded safe drinking limits.

According to the study, those limits are three drinks a day or a total of 10 drinks a week for women and four drinks a day or a total of 20 drinks a week for men.

The study found that 54 per cent of alcoholic drinks were consumed either in a drinking session that exceeded the safe limits or in a week when the safe limit was surpassed.

And 53 per cent of reported drinks were consumed by just 10 per cent of drinkers.

The findings are based on data from the 2004 Canadian Addictions Survey, which was conducted by the Ottawa-based Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Lead author Tim Stockwell says the problem is probably a lot larger, given the fact that reported drinking in the survey only accounts for about one-third of the alcohol sold in Canada.

“In fact . . . you can be confident then in saying that most alcohol consumed is putting the drinker and-or those around them at risk in some way,” Stockwell says..”

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