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Responsible drinking awareness campaign comes to campus

By Zarif Alibhai, March 8 2017 —

The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission’s DrinkSense campaign visited the University of Calgary on March 1.

DrinkSense is a province-wide campaign aimed at educating young adults on Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines for men and women. National guidelines suggest that men have a maximum of three alcoholic drinks per day and up to four on special occasions to be within the low-risk guidelines. For women, the guidelines suggest a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per day and three on special occasions.

As part of the campaign, AGLC members set up their Plinko-based game “Drinko” in front of the Dairy Queen in MacHall.

To play the game, students dropped plastic discs through a slot in the top of the Drinko board. The disc would bounce towards the bottom of the board before landing in a slot.

“We hope that it opens up the conversation of Canada’s low-risk drinking,” AGLC president and Chief Executive Officer Bill Robinson said. “DrinkSense started out as a program to educate people of all ages of responsible use of alcohol. We thought [the game] would be fun and unique and also catch the attention of young adults about drinking.”

Robinson said the game’s purpose is to show students how to make responsible choices about what they drink as they go out for the evening — water, juice, pop or alcohol. The AGLC has set up Drinko across university campuses in Alberta, including the University of Lethbridge and the University of Alberta.

“Eighty-five per cent of people in Alberta through our surveys [say they] drink responsibly, but there is binge drinking involved where people show up and they have been pre-loaded at home, because the alcohol hasn’t got into their system. There is a problem with severe intoxication,” Robinson said.

A U of C study in October 2016 found that there has been a steady increase in the amount of binge drinking in Canada throughout the last 20 years — particularly among the 18–24 age group.

U of C student Jasaiie Kehal said she feels better informed about drinking alcohol responsibly after playing Drinko.

“What I’ve learned is that you drink a lot more than you are actually supposed to and I feel that university students don’t actually realize how much we really do drink until you are playing this game,” she said.

Robinson encourages students to log onto www.drinksense.ab.ca to get more information about responsible drinking habits.

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