"Alcohol remains the substance with the highest prevalence of use by Canadian students in grades 7 to 12.

"After decreasing through successive cycles of the survey (from 53% in 2008-09), the prevalence of use of alcohol in the past 12 months by students in grades 7 to 12 remains at 44% (approximately 880,000), unchanged from 2016-17. Prevalence of past 12-month use of alcohol was 45% among females compared to 43% among males, also unchanged from 2016-17.

"On average, students tried their first alcoholic beverage at 13.4 years of age, unchanged compared to the previous cycle (2016-17). Females were slightly older when they tried their first drink than males (13.6 years versus 13.3 years).

"Less than one quarter of students (23%, approximately 481,000) reported high risk drinking behaviour (i.e., five or more drinks on one occasion) in the past 12 months, which was unchanged from 2016-17. Twenty-four percent of males and 23% of females reported drinking five or more drinks on one occasion in the past year, both unchanged from 2016-17."