More than Getting Wasted: A Description of Youth Emergency Department Visits Attributable to Alcohol Use at Kingston Health Sciences Centre from 2013-2017

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Erlikhman, Leo
Alcohol Use , Substance Use/Misuse , Youth , Post-secondary , Ritualized Drinking , Youth Alcohol Use , Binge Drinking , High-Intensity Drinking , University , College , Emergency Department , Mental Health , Alcohol-Related Injuries
The objective of this study is to describe youth presentation to the Emergency Department (ED) for alcohol-related issues. Current alcohol-related research relies on self-reported data of individual-level alcohol consumption. While Canada and Ontario have reported stable population consumption rates, presentations to emergency departments and the costs associated with alcohol consumption have increased (Myran et. al. 2019 and; CSUCH, 2018). This study is a chart review of patient visits for alcohol-related issues to the ED and Urgent Care Center at Kingston Health Sciences Center (KHSC) between September 1, 2013, and April 30, 2017. All patients aged 12-24 who visited the ED and Urgent Care Center at KHSC for alcohol-related reasons were eligible for the study. An n= 2,479 of study eligible patients presented to KHSC over a four-year period for alcohol-related issues. Young patients presenting for alcohol-related issues during the study period had an absolute increase of 1.37%. Results suggest a conceptual split in the calendar between ‘ordinary’ drinking weeks and ‘ritualized drinking event dates’, and presentations in Kingston seem to follow a patterned trend that is connected to these ritualized dates. Ritualized drinking event dates in Kingston increased during the study period. These dates comprise 4.6% of total days during the study period but account for 23.3% visits.
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