A new report says that southern Vancouver Islanders consumed alcohol at a record rate in 2018, and higher than provincial or national averages.
According to the 2020 Vital Signs report from the Victoria Foundation, the 2018 estimated annual alcohol consumption per capita in the South Vancouver Island Health Service Delivery Area hit an all-time high of 11.2 litres.
That figure exceeds the provincial consumption rate for B.C. (9.4 litres in 2018) and Canada (8.2 litres from 2017-2018).
The consumption rate on the South Island is up nearly a full litre from 2013, at 10.28 litres.
The Vital Signs report says that for comparison, an average drinker on the South Island aged 15 or older consumed 638 bottles of beer in 2018, or 104 bottles per wine. That translates to just under two bottles or glasses per day, respectively.
Across BC, the highest consumption rate was in East Kootenay HSDA (14.4 litres) and the lowest in Richmond (4.3 litres).
Respondents to a survey on COVID-19 and alcohol consumption conducted by the BC Centre for Disease Control also said that people are reporting drinking more during the pandemic.
Vital Signs says that numbers from the BCCDC survey showed 28 per cent of British Columbians and 36 per cent of families with children reported increased alcohol consumption due to COVID-19.