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North Shore residents say pandemic hasn't changed how much booze they drink

'Dryuary' is almost over. But how has the pandemic changed our overall drinking trends?
WV Park Drinking PM 2 web
It's now legal to drink in many local parks.

As anyone who decided to forgo their Friday night glass of cabernet sauvignon or pass on the IPA at local breweries this month knows, "Dryuary" is almost at an end.

(We won't even get into why Dryuary happens to coincide with one of the bleakest months in the calendar, made extra-bleak this year by the Omicron variant and attendant public health restrictions . . .)

Expert opinion is still divided about whether a month without booze does much for long-term health.

But many Canadians acknowledge they've been drinking more during the pandemic.

And experts have worried alcohol consumption during the past two years of the pandemic could have long-term health consequences.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and the Mental Health Commission of Canada found that in 2020, one in three respondents who use alcohol reported increased use and one in five reported problematic use. 

British Columbians drank more alcohol during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic than they have in the past 20 years, according to an analysis of BC alcohol sales data from the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research.

(For a fascinating look at how much we do drink, you can check out the institute's interactive map)

Most North Shore residents who answered a recent poll, however, said their boozing habits haven't changed under COVID, with almost 41 per cent of locals who responded stating their drinking habits are the same, for better or for worse.

A further 22 per cent said they don't drink alcohol.

Among those who did cop to a change, just under 21 per cent of locals responding to the poll admitted their alcohol consumption has been up in the stress-inducing last couple of years. Approximately 16 per cent of locals said they're drinking less – thanks to a renewed emphasis on prioritizing health.

North Shore News polled 2196 North Shore News readers and asked the question: Have your alcohol drinking habits changed during the pandemic?

The poll ran from 12/15/2021 to 1/27/2022. Of the 2196 votes, we can determine that 871 are from within the community. The full results are as follows:

Yes, I'm definitely drinking more. The pandemic has stressed me out and booze takes the edge off. Legal drinking in parks has also been a nice touch in warmer months. 20.67 % local, 21.17 % total    
I don't think my drinking habits have changed with COVID, for better or worse. 40.64 % local, 39.16 % total    
Yes. I'm drinking less. COVID-19 made me re-prioritize my own health and wellness and less booze is part of that program. 16.07 % local, 14.30 % total    
No. I don't drink alcohol. 22.50 % local, 25.36 % total    
  Local   Total

Results are based on an online study of adult North Shore News readers that are located in North Shore. The margin of error - which measures sample variability - is +/- 2.08%, 19 times out of 20.

North Shore News uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.