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2011 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Health data can help address alcohol-related harm in youth

For Immediate Release – June 13, 2011 (Toronto) – Using ambulance, hospital and other routinely collected health data can provide a more comprehensive, dynamic picture of trends in alcohol use among young people, according to a new report involving CAMH collaboration.
Binge drinking and overconsumption of alcohol by young people is a growing issue in many countries. For example, in a 2009 Health Canada study, 22% of young Canadians aged 15-24 reported heaving drinking and 20% reported experiencing harm related to alcohol consumption.
The analysis, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), outlines the benefits of surveillance using administrative records such as hospital admissions and discharges, physician billings and trauma registries, in addition to surveys and sales data. The report involved collaboration with CAMH Scientist Dr. Elizabeth Lin and colleagues from Australia and Nova Scotia.
The authors suggest that a model for a national surveillance of alcohol-related harm in young people can be adapted from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s work in diabetes and mental health.
Media Contact: For more information or to request an interview, contact Michael Torres, Media Relations, CAMH at 416 595 6015 or email media@camh.net
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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.
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