Patio season is coming up. Who doesn’t enjoy a glass of wine at dinner? Or a cocktail before it? Or a beer after cutting the lawn? We do too. But when a few drinks become a few too many, serious injuries can happen.

Most of us are aware of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption—the long-term health consequences, the risk of drinking and driving, and so on. But what we might not know is that excessive alcohol consumption dramatically increases the risk of injury. And it dramatically increases the severity of those injuries too.

It makes sense when you think about it. Researchers have long understood that drinking can impair coordination, as well as the ability to recognize and respond to risks.1 Given that, it’s not surprising that statistics have underscored the relationship between excessive drinking and serious injury:

  • Alcohol is the #1 risk factor associated with injury in BC.2
  • Average number of alcohol-related injury deaths per year: 460.3
  • In the 25-54 age group, 47% of all deaths were attributable in some way to excessive alcohol consumption.4

We want to pass on a message of moderation to all British Columbians. We want to be clear here: go ahead and have a drink, just remember your common sense. Before indulging becomes over-indulging, have a word with yourself—and make sure you’re doing what you need to do to stay safe.


Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “Alcohol consumption greatly increases serious injury risk for heavy and moderate drinkers.” ScienceDaily.

2 Discharge Abstract Database, Ministry of Health. Retrieved from the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, 2017.

3, 4 BC Vital Statistics Agency, Retrieved from the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, 2017.

Note on sources: Hospitalization data is based on hospital separations (discharges) from each hospital, which are collected and stored in the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD). This hospitalization dataset includes all acute, rehab and day surgery cases. BC Vital Statistics counts every death in the province, including the cause of death and any contributing factors.