Binge Drinking on Canadian College and University Campuses
Day 83 of 99 Days to FASDay continues a brief focus on alcohol and drinking habits, with the results from a 2016 survey of over 43,000 students in Canada.
This is of particular interest to myself as the maiden starts College in September. She not only moved from a small town to a city this summer, she will be attending College with more students older than her, than younger. And all of them age of majority. While I have been lucky so far as she does not drink alcohol, there is trepidation as she may want to experiment.
I’m sure all parents are concerned as their children enter adulthood and go off to college or university, but as the parent of a young adult with FASD my concerns and fears are amplified for many reasons. Her vulnerability puts her at heightened risk, her desire to fit in and find friends may lead her to try alcohol whereas before she may not have even considered it, the medication she is on I am certain will increase her risk of serious implications if she drinks alcohol, and the deficits in executive functioning may lead her to be impulsive and not think of consequences of her actions.
I cannot protect her 24/7 however. All I can do is speak plainly to her about the dangers of alcohol. It is a fine balance between trying to keep her safe, and letting her be just like everyone else. She must make her own mistakes in order to learn. I just hope the cost is not too high.
However, I am hopeful her College will be one of the thirty-six universities and colleges that have teamed up with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and Universities Canada in an effort to curb high-risk drinking.
The Postsecondary Partnership – Alcohol Harms (PEP-AH), as it’s called, is connecting students and administrators with health experts to create campus programs to reduce harms related to binge drinking.
While Canadian universities have individually been grappling with the issue for decades, this partnership represents a more collaborative approach, said Scott Duguay, co-chair of PEP-AH and associate vice-president, enrolment management, at St. Thomas University.
“We’re offering resources and ideas and best practices but allowing a lot of space for individual members to build their own plans,” Mr. Duguay said. “We strongly encourage institutions that are partners to have a campus team that oversees alcohol harm reduction programming.”
You can find out more information about this Study by visiting The Prevention Conversation blog which is where the above information was sourced from.
Tomorrow (Day 84) looks at the global prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy.