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Marijuana Use Doubled Over Past Decade: Study.

By admin | November 24, 2004

CBC News
Nov 24 2004.

The number of Canadians using marijuana appears to have doubled over the past decade, according to the first major study of drug and alcohol use in the country in 10 years.

The Canadian Addiction Survey reports that 14 per cent of Canadians said they had used cannabis in the past year, up from 7.4 per cent in 1994.

A total of 13,909 Canadians aged 15 and older participated in the survey, sponsored by Health Canada and the Canadian Centre in Substance Abuse.

“The rise in cannabis use, especially among young Canadians, is of concern because we know that cannabis is not a benign substance,” said Michel Perron, chief executive officer of the centre .

The survey found that 45 per cent of Canadians have used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. About 70 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 reported using the substance.

Males were more likely than females to use pot, as were those who have never been married.

The study found the use of cocaine and crack also rose from 0.7 per cent in 1994 to 1.9 per cent in 2004.

Overall, it found that the use of illicit drugs by Canadians at least once in their lifetime rose from 28.5 per cent in 1994 to to 45 per cent in 2004.

The survey also found that steroids use is low but that lifetime use of steroids is increasing among males.

Drinking stats on the rise

The number of those who reported drinking alcohol in the past 12 months rose to 79.3 per cent in 2004 from 72.3 per cent in 1994.

More men than women drank booze in the past 12 months (82 per cent to 76.8 per cent). The survey found that 90 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 drank alcohol in that time period.

Around 6.2 per cent of those who drank alcohol this past year reported they were heavy drinkers at least once a week and 25.5 per cent said they were heavy drinkers once a month. A heavy drinker is defined as someone who consumes five or more drinks on a single occasion for men, four drinks for women.

Males aged 18 to 24 and single persons were more likely to report heavy drinking.

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