Pretty much everyone they know
does the same thing.
Pre-gaming still has a cost,
says Naomi Parker, an addiction
prevention consultant with Alberta
Health Services. She points to a 2013
study at 30 Canadian universities and
colleges that found more than 70 per
cent of students had drunk alcohol in
recent weeks and nearly half of them
had consumed more than five drinks
on one occasion—enough to meet
Health Canada’s definition of binge
Many of those binge drinkers did
something they later regretted, had
unplanned and unprotected sex, or
forgot where they were and what
they’d done. The study also noted
that more than half of the students
who drank said they experienced
a combination of these and other
negative consequences, including
sexual assault, violence and thoughts
of suicide. Parker says it’s noteworthy
to have so many students reporting
It’s also dangerous. Pre-gaming
makes it hard for bartenders and
servers to know when to cut off
drinkers, especially because pre-
gamers don’t always keep track
of how much they’ve consumed.
Marshall says he learned how much
was too much for him. “Once you
get to your turning point and you’re
having a really bad night because
you’re way too drunk, you know your
limits,” he says. “I’m always pretty
conscious about my consumption.”
Safe drinking begins with knowing
your limits and staying within them.
Parker recommends counting your
drinks and keeping consumption
to three or four drinks. “Go out
and have a good time, but do it in a
culture of moderation.” And maybe
sit out the pre-game.
— Jennifer Allford
Be safe if you drink
The safest thing is not to drink alcohol. The
next safest is to reduce the risks associated
with drinking with these tips:
the driving: taxi, transit, friend, mom or
you. Arrive together. Stick together. Leave
where you’re going, how they can reach
you and when you’ll be back.
helmets to condoms. Protect yourself.
you don’t know.
slip another substance into your drink.
be a dangerous combination.
— The Apple Team
If you’re concerned about your or someone
else’s drinking, call 1-866-332-2322.