Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

September 22, 2010 09:00 ET

Young Adults and Alcohol: How Much is Too Much?

Inaugural Bill Deeks Lecture Examines Factors Leading to Excessive Drinking

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2010) - Canadian undergraduate students are more than three times as likely to engage in weekly risky drinking than the general population. To highlight this issue, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan Research Chair on Substance Abuse, is hosting the inaugural Bill Deeks Lecture, How Much is Too Much? A Conversation for Change: Young Adults and Alcohol, at St. Thomas More College, Saskatoon. The event will also be available via live national webcast.

The aim of the CCSA Chair Lecture Series is to raise awareness of issues related to alcohol- and other drug-related harms while providing a discussion forum where diverse perspectives can be shared, with the goal of effecting positive change to the health and well-being of all Canadians.

"Risky drinking practices by young adults continue to preoccupy us, particularly at this time of year," said Michel Perron, CCSA's Chief Executive Officer. "That's why we've created this opportunity to have an open and frank discourse that will examine different perspectives on the issue, from marketing to social norms and tools to minimize potential harm to these young adults. By engaging youth in the discussion of 'how much is too much', we expect to initiate a conversation for change that will lead to a culture of moderation instead of drunkenness."

Keynote speaker André Picard of The Globe and Mail will lead the Lecture's four panellists in their examination of young adults' perceptions of alcohol, the influence of marketing and advertising on drinking patterns, and strategies for drinking safely in different social settings. Mr. Picard himself will speak to the media's role in normalizing heavy drinking as part of young adult culture, something that he is uniquely positioned to talk about as one of Canada's top public policy writers.

Joining Mr. Picard are Martina Matthewson, University of Saskatchewan sociology student, who will speak about young adults' perceptions of alcohol; Fran Wdowczyk, Special Advisor to the Chief Administrative Officer at the University of Toronto Scarborough, who will discuss the role marketing and advertising plays in influencing drinking patterns; Louis Gliksman, Ph.D., Senior Scientist in the Social and Epidemiology Research Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), who will outline some of the policy options available to minimize harm associated with alcohol; and Barbara Robinson, Head of the Addictions Counselling Program at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), who will discuss strategies and approaches youth can employ for drinking safely in social settings.

"Alcohol is the most frequently used drug in Saskatchewan, impacting the lives of many young adults and their families," said Colleen Dell, U of S Research Chair in Substance Abuse. "We are pleased to work with CCSA to raise awareness on the risks and vulnerabilities associated with alcohol consumption in an open and public forum. The more we can engage youth and Canadians as a whole, the better we are able to influence policy, focus on alcohol prevention and increase knowledge around safe levels of consumption."

The Bill Deeks Lecture Series honours Deeks' long-serving career and commitment to reducing the harms associated with drugs and alcohol. He served as Chair of CCSA's Board of Directors from 1993–2001.

Free and open to the public, the Bill Deeks Lecture will be held at:

Date: September 22nd, 2010
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. MDT
Location: Fr. O'Donnell Auditorium, St. Thomas More College,
University of Saskatchewan

For instructions on attending the live webcast, please visit:

About CCSA:

With a legislated mandate to reduce alcohol- and other drug-related harms, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) provides leadership on national priorities, fosters knowledge translation within the field and creates sustainable partnerships that maximize collective efforts. CCSA receives funding support from Health Canada.

About the U of S Research Chair in Substance Abuse:

The Chair's mandate is to increase Saskatchewan's substance abuse research capacity, strengthen the training of addiction workers, and increase the effective use of research resources in substance abuse prevention and treatment. The position is funded by a grant from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.

Contact Information

  • CCSA
    Yasmina Pepa, Communication Advisor
    613-235-4048 ext. 276