Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Reducing alcohol harms on campus

Network of Canadian postsecondary institutions, including Queen’s, working to help students drink responsibly and stay safe.

A partnership among Canadian universities and colleges, Universities Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) has launched the Canadian Postsecondary Education Partnership - Alcohol Harms (PEP-AH), a network that is taking steps to collectively address alcohol-related harms on Canadian campuses.

[PEPAH]Members of PEP-AH, which include Queen’s, are meeting in Ottawa this week to share strategies and the results of ongoing campus and community-based initiatives. Campus teams, comprising students, staff, faculty, and local stakeholders, are working with a CCSA-developed evidence-based framework that aims to reduce harms related to alcohol consumption across five strategic areas.

“Addressing high-risk drinking and promoting proven ways to reduce the harms related to alcohol consumption are key to supporting student health and safety,” says Principal Daniel Woolf, who signed the PEPAH partnership agreement on behalf of Queen’s. “The university has been engaged in this work for many years, and PEPAH is helping to guide our next steps. I am pleased that we are involved in this collaborative initiative with peer institutions, and with expert partners such as the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and Universities Canada.”

The Queen’s Alcohol Working Group, which now includes a KFL&A Public Health representative of the Safe and Sober Alliance, has used the framework to identify initiatives for 2017-18, including hosting the “Rethink the Drink” talkback fall tour, exploring options for expanding the capacity of the Campus Observation Room (COR), an on-campus non-medical detox service, and enhancing the promotion of alcohol-free social activities and events on campus and in the community to students in residence and off campus.

“Binge drinking, and the harms associated with it, is a serious issue for some students,” says Queen’s Rector Cam Yung, PEP-AH’s student representative for Ontario. “PEP-AH is helping institutions devise strategies to encourage students to drink responsibly, with students taking an active part in leading culture change on campuses.”

For more information, visit PEPAH’s new website and Queen’s PEPAH webpage.