Richmond is tied with Langley for having the lowest proportion of binge drinkers — 15 per cent — among 29 communities, according to the largest-health survey ever in B.C.
Whistler has the biggest proportion — about half — of residents who are binge drinkers. Squamish was a close second with about a third of respondents saying they binge drink at least once a month.
Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a sitting for men, or at least four for women. The proportion of Whistler residents who said they binge drink is three times that of Fraser Valley respondents and nearly double that of Metro Vancouver respondents, 26 per cent of whom indicated they binge drink at least once a month.
Binge drinking was just one of about 100 questions asked by the survey of 33,000 residents in the areas covered by the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health authorities. That’s about two per cent of the population.
The $650,000 survey, conducted by the health authorities in partnership with University of B.C. experts in 2012 and 2013, is meant to help communities make decisions around services.
Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer of Coastal Health, said the survey helps fill a gap left by the federal government’s discontinuation of the long form census. She said binge drinking is a big problem because it’s associated with accidents and injuries, sexually transmitted infections and other risky behaviours.
— Vancouver Sun