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Researchers want to know what you drink and what you know

Health Canada is hoping to learn more about your drinking habits, or lack thereof. 

Researchers will be conducting surveys in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut through a new voluntary study. They want to get a better understanding of what people know and think about alcohol and the risks associated with it.

The $700,000 multi-year study is focusing on people in Whitehorse and Yellowknife, though it could expand to other communities in the years ahead.

“Alcohol is a leading public health issue in Canada, yet the majority Canadians remain largely unaware of the link between alcohol and health risks,” read a news release from Dr. Erin Hobinlead, who’s the main investigator with the study.

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The study includes a 10 to 15 minute survey asking about people’s beliefs, knowledge, and behaviours related to alcohol use. Surveys have already begun and will continue through June 3, and again in 2018.

More than 2,000 adults in the Northwest Territories and Yukon will participate in the study, and those who do will receive a $5 gift card for Tim Hortons.

Alcohol is the leading cause of death and disease in Canada. An estimated 22 million Canadians, or 80 per cent of the population, drank alcohol last year. Of those, at least 3.1 million drank enough to be at risk for immediate injury, according to Healthy Canadians.

Researchers with the study hope to eventually expand the research to rural communities in the North.

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