This paper aims to present the rates of drug-related hospital separations for amphetamines, alcohol, cocaine, cannabis and opioids for each province from fiscal years 1996 to 2005.
Data were drawn from Canada's Hospital Morbidity Database, a national electronic archive of all inpatient hospital admission records. All inpatient medical records with an alcohol- or drug-related diagnosis were abstracted for this study.
Canadian rates increased during the 10-year period for all drugs; however, alcohol separations declined somewhat. The highest rates of drug and alcohol separations were most often found in BC, Alberta and the North. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland generally had the lowest rates of separations.
The study provides a detailed provincial and national account of alcohol- and drug-related morbidity related to inpatient hospital admissions. The rates of alcohol-related admissions across all provinces were, by far, much greater than those associated with drug-related episodes. The data provide an important measure of the harms related to substance use in Canada.