School’s Out for the Summer!

Friends playing in waves on beach

It’s June, which means the school year is coming to a close. Many of you have spent the last 8-10 months pouring over books and studying for endless hours and now summer is almost here! It is an exciting time of year and we can only imagine that many of you are looking forward to some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

We would like to congratulate all those individuals who have worked so hard for completing another school year, particularly those who are approaching graduation, as this is an incredibly exciting milestone. This should be a time for celebration and we encourage you to take the time to recognize and revel in making it where you are today. However, we also want to take a moment to share some words of caution and remind everyone about the importance of safe and healthy choices even during commemorative occasions.

In Canada, the time of graduation tends to correspond closely with an individual entering the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol. Drinking heavy amounts alcohol has also become well associated with graduation celebrations. In fact, binge drinking (4 or more drinks for girls and 5 or more drinks for guys) tends to peak between the ages of 18 and 22. Aside from the physical effects alcohol can have on your body, such as loss of consciousness, hangovers, alcohol poisoning, loss of balance, and increased risk for diseases like cancer or liver disease, drinking alcohol can lead to many other problems. For example, among young adults who report binge drinking upwards of 87% of them have experienced other problems such as physical assault, sexual assault, injury, impaired sleep, and academic problems. Further, approximately 1 in 7 (15%) of all drinkers will go on to develop alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Alcohol use doesn’t just impact the person drinking; it also has a huge negative effect on our society. When members of our community are hurt or sick, the individual’s friends and family also suffer.

Even though you may you now be deemed legally allowed to consume alcohol, this does not mean that alcohol is now safe for you to consume. Did you know that our brains don’t stop developing until we are almost 25 years old? Drinking alcohol while our brain is still developing can actually negatively impact this development. This means that individuals under the age of 25 are at a higher risk of experiencing the negative effects associated with alcohol compared to those over 25. We encourage you to please remember this if you decide to drink; you only have one brain and one future so please make smart choices.

We want you to celebrate, like we said, you deserve it! But instead of starting your journey into adulthood by causing harm to yourself and others around you we challenge you to be a leader in making smart, safe, and healthy choices. We challenge you to take the BeYou Promise; make a commitment to yourself to be the best you that you can possibly be. You are special and there is only one of you, so take care of yourself. Remember, only you are responsible for yourself so take that responsibility and make safe and healthy choices. You are the future, so be a leader and make our future a safe and healthy one.

Take the Be You Promise today.

Be You Promise Logo 2016