Feb. 26, 2016

Girls' Night Out explores the culture of young women and binge drinking

Documentary screening part of national awareness campaign about high-risk alcohol consumption

The new CBC documentary Girls' Night Out will be screened on campus Feb. 26 and followed by a panel discussion on the rise of binge drinking by young women on university campuses.

The new CBC documentary Girls' Night Out will be screened on campus Feb. 26.

John Tran/White Pine Pictures

Join the SU Wellness Centre and the Women’s Resource Centre in MSC 482 from 3-4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, for a screening of Girls’ Night Out, a CBC documentary that explores the culture of binge drinking and addiction, and how it is becoming increasingly normalized among young women and on university campuses.

Following the documentary, a panel discussion will take place from 4-5 p.m. The panel will feature a student’s perspective and the expertise of Dr. Dorothy Badry, a faculty member and experienced researcher in the area of addiction. 

Girls’ Night Out is drawing attention to the social phenomenon of binge drinking and raising the profile of associated risky behaviour,” says Badry. “Alcohol marketing has increasingly and intentionally targeted women as a consumer group. The heavy use of alcohol by women has serious health and social/emotional harms and consequences that can no longer be ignored.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Canada guidelines define binge drinking for females as four or more drinks consumed during one occasion, at least once a month, in the past year. According to Stats Canada, binge drinking has become more common than smoking, in teenagers and young adults, with individuals aged 20-34 reporting the highest frequency of binge drinking in all of Canada.

According to data from the 2013 National College Health Assessment survey done at the University of Calgary, 20.5 per cent of female and 33.2 per cent of male student respondents indicated having seven or more drinks the last time they partied or socialized. Overall, about 70 per cent of students reported using alcohol at some point within the past 30 days. The SU Wellness Centre and campus partners use this information to develop targeted programs and interventions to reduce alcohol-related harms on campus.

Girls’ Night Out ultimately brings awareness to the dangers and risks that young women face when they engage in binge drinking. “We need to move from ‘we did it, it’s no big deal’ and recognize the dangers of the frequency and volume of binge-drinking among women. It is taking lives,” says filmmaker Phyllis Ellis.

The event is free. For more information visit the SU Wellness Centre.