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2004 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Drug Use in Ontario

​Study finds that drug use rates in Ontario similar to national average

For immediate release: November 24, 2004 (Toronto): The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has released findings today that shows that drug use in Ontario closely mirrors national estimates reported in the Canadian Addiction Survey also released today.
Results from the Canadian Addiction Survey:

The drug use rates in Ontario differ from the national rates in only two areas; Ontario residents were less likely to report lifetime use of cannabis (40.4% vs 44.5% nationally) and less likely to report lifetime use of any illicit drug (40.9% vs 45.1% nationally).  Lifetime use refers to the survey respondent having taken the drug at least once in their lifetime.
Results from the CAMH Monitor:

CAMH has monitored drug use among Ontario adults since 1977. These latest findings report trends in cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy use among Ontario adults from 1977 to 2003. Other points of interest from today's study include:
Cannabis Use:

The overall trend in those who report having used cannabis once or more in the past year (past-year cannabis use) shows an increase from 9% in 1997 to 13% in 2003. Between 1997 and 2003, the past-year cannabis use increased among:

- males from 11% to 16%
- females from 7% to 10%
- 18-29 year olds from 21% to 34%
- 40-49 year olds from 4% to 10%
- 50-64 year olds from 2% to 6%
Cocaine Use:

In 2003, 7% of Ontario adults reported use of cocaine at least once in their lifetime and 2% used it during the past year. Rates of cocaine use have remained relatively stable over the past two decades.

Ecstasy Use:

In 2003, 4% of Ontario adults reported use of ecstasy in their lifetime, and less than 1% reported use during the past year. Overall, rates of ecstasy use remained relatively stable between 2000 and 2003.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital. CAMH succeeds in transforming the lives of people affected by addiction and mental illness, by applying the latest in scientific advances, through integrated and compassionate clinical practice, health promotion, education and research.
CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization Collaborating Centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
For more information or to schedule an interview contact Sylvia Hagopian, CAMH Media Relations Coordinator at (416) 595-6015.
CAMH Population Studies eBulletin Nov/Dec 2004 - Trends in Cannabis, Cocaine and Ecstasy Use Among Ontario Adults, 1977–2003 PDF  
Canadian Addiction Survey Press Release - 
Canadian Addiction Survey Backgrounder -
Canadian Addiction Survey Highlights -​
CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
CAMH General Information Toronto: 416-595-6111 Toll Free: 1-800-463-6273
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