Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 55–59 | Cite as

Alcohol-related Victimization among Young Adult Canadian Drinkers: The Explanatory Roles of Hazardous Drinking and Illicit Drug Use

  • Samantha L. WellsEmail author
  • Jennie Mae Thompson
Quantitative Research



Consistent evidence has shown that young people are significantly overrepresented among victims of violence due to another person’s drinking. Yet little research has examined factors that explain alcohol-related victimization among young adults, particularly in Canada. The present study examines the influence of hazardous drinking and illicit drug use on the likelihood of experiencing alcohol-related physical victimization among young adult drinkers in a Canadian general population sample and determines whether gender differences exist in the roles of these explanatory variables.


A secondary analysis of the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS) was conducted, restricting analyses to young adult (ages 18 to 25) drinkers (785 females, 745 males). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between explanatory variables and victimization. To assess gender differences in effects, interaction effects of gender by hazardous drinking and illicit drug use were tested.


Alcohol-related victimization was more likely among men than among women, hazardous drinkers than non-hazardous drinkers, and illicit drug users than non-users. Multivariate analyses indicated that, among women, illicit drug use was associated with victimization whereas, among men, hazardous drinking was significant. An interaction effect between gender and hazardous drinking indicated that hazardous drinking was more strongly associated with victimization among men than among women.


These results highlight the important role of substance use in explaining alcohol-related victimization among young adult Canadian drinkers and suggest that gender-specific prevention programs may be needed.

Key words

Violence cannabis street drugs alcohol drinking crime victims sex 



Des preuves convergentes montrent que les jeunes sont significativement surreprésentés parmi les victimes d’actes violents perpétrés par des personnes ayant bu de l’alcool. Pourtant, rares sont les études qui portent sur les facteurs pouvant expliquer la victimisation liée à l’alcool chez les jeunes adultes, particulièrement au Canada. Dans cet article, nous examinons l’influence des excès d’alcool et de la consommation de drogue sur la probabilité d’être victime de voies de fait liées à l’alcool chez les buveurs au début de l’âge adulte dans un échantillon représentatif de la population canadienne; nous cherchons aussi à déterminer si ces variables explicatives diffèrent selon le sexe.


Nous avons effectué une analyse secondaire des données de l’Enquête sur les toxicomanies au Canada (2004) en ne tenant compte que des jeunes adultes consommateurs d’alcool (785 femmes et 745 hommes, 18 à 25 ans). Par régression logistique, nous avons analysé les associations entre les variables explicatives et la victimisation. Enfin, nous avons testé les effets d’interaction entre le sexe, les excès d’alcool et la consommation de drogue pour détecter des sexospécificités, le cas échéant.


La victimisation liée à l’alcool était plus courante chez les hommes que chez les femmes, chez les buveurs excessifs que chez les autres consommateurs d’alcool, et chez les utilisateurs de drogue que chez les non-utilisateurs. Selon des analyses multivariées, chez les femmes, la consommation de drogue était associée à la victimisation, tandis que chez les hommes, ce sont les excès d’alcool qui étaient statistiquement significatifs. Nous avons observé un effet d’interaction entre le sexe et l’excès d’alcool, à savoir: une plus forte association entre l’excès d’alcool et la victimisation chez les hommes que chez les femmes.


Ces résultats font ressortir le rôle important de la consommation d’alcool ou de drogue pour expliquer la victimisation liée à l’alcool chez les jeunes adultes canadiens qui boivent, ce qui donne à penser que des programmes de prévention sexospécifiques pourraient être nécessaires.

Mots clés

violence cannabis drogue consommation d’alcool victimes de crimes sexe 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Prevention and Health Policy Research DepartmentCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthLondonCanada

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