Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 173–175 | Cite as

Alcohol’s Role in the Deaths of BC Children and Youth

  • Wayne MiticEmail author
  • John Greschner


Objective: To determine the prevalence and context of alcohol use in the deaths of children and youth reviewed by the BC Children’s Commission.

Methods: In 489 case reviews of BC children and youth, we examined the role that alcohol may have had at the time of death or whether there was a history of alcohol use either by the deceased child or another person in the child’s life.

Results: Alcohol is most prevalent in the lives of 15–18 year olds. It is present at the time of death in two fifths of Motor Vehicle Incidents (MVI) and one third of suicides and drownings.

Interpretation: Alcohol has a profound presence in the lives and deaths of children reviewed by the Children’s Commission. Enhancing deterrence laws and alcohol control policies, and increasing public awareness are warranted.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Addiction Research Foundation. Youth and Alcohol. Toronto, ON: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Belcher HM, Shinitzky HD. Substance abuse in children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1998;152:952–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    BC Vital Statistics Quarterly Digest. Province of British Columbia. Vol. 7, Number 4, May 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    BC Coroner’s Service. Investigation Services Policy Manual. Ministry of the Attorney General, Province of British Columbia.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Report on the Health of British Columbians. Provincial Health Officer’s Annual Report. BC Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors. 1997.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Quinlan K, Brewer R, Sleet D, Dellinger AM. Characteristics of child passenger deaths and injuries involving drinking drivers. JAMA 2000;17:2249–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grossman M, Chaloupka FJ, Saffer H, Laixuthai A. Effects of alcohol price policy on youth; a summary of economic research. J Res Adolesc 1994;4:347–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Margolis L, Foss R, Tolber WG. Alcohol and motor vehicle-related deaths of children as passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. JAMA 2000;17:2245–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s CommissionProvince of British ColumbiaVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations