As a flood of students is about to double the population of Wolfville N.S., discussions about the issues of alcohol and binge drinking are at the forefront for the community.

Nova Scotia's chief public health officer, Dr. Robert Strang, will be in Wolfville to release his report on alcohol harm reduction among university students.

Binge drinking is classified as five or more drinks on a single occasion. On average about 30 percent of Canadian university students are binge drinkers.

Acadia University requested Strang's report following a students' death after heavy drinking last year.


A student was found unconscious in a basement dorm room in the Chipman House residence building last year (CBC)


Wolfville Mayor Bob Stead said, for the most part, it's easy for the town to accommodate the flood of young people heading to Acadia.

A point of contention, though, is alcohol and the out-of-control drinking some students engage in.

Stead said the town has a committee that works with students and the university in an ongoing conversation about drinking.

"They are constantly in dialogue about programming that's on campus, off campus, dry events, wet events, underage drinking and binge drinking, some of which have become very serious," he said.

Stead said the university is heavily involved in trying to promote healthier attitudes towards drinking, but the university is fighting against more liquor stores, longer hours and attractive ads and packaging. These, combined with a seemingly inherent university drinking culture, create issues not for just for universities, but also for university towns like Wolfville.

"These problems have been there for some time, but they have become more acute, I think," said Stead.