September 5, 2014 1:02 am

AHS warns of dangers of binge drinking as university students head back to class

Alberta Health Services says post-secondary students use binge drinking as a way to cope with their new environment.

Global News

LETHBRIDGE — It’s Fresh Fest at the University of Lethbridge, which means hundreds of new students heading out on their own for the first time.

And it’s no secret that drinking alcohol is one of the more popular activities for students.

Students Union President Sean Glydon says over consumption at Fresh Fest events is something they have become more cautious of.

“It’s become a concern over the past few years especially. You can’t control the behaviour of someone all the time,” he said.

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Alberta Health Services says that many students are drawn to alcohol during the first few weeks of school, as it’s a way to help them feel comfortable when socializing with new people. Experts say this can be dangerous.

When people use alcohol as a means to mitigate that anxiety, they become reliant on that, according to health officials; people start to drink excessively on a regular basis because they are not relying on other skills they may have.

Glydon says binge drinking might be part of the college experience, but it doesn’t excuse students from being responsible.

“You can have a good time, and you should have a good time, there is a lot of really cool things you can do at university. But it’s a lot better if you remember your time at university and the times you did have fun.”

Fresh Fest runs until September 6.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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