CBC news recently covered the story of an Edmonton woman who is finding creative ways to promote healthy living and alcohol-free social opportunities.
Kaitie Degen is familiar with the negative effects of alcohol use, having grown up in a family impacted by substance use issues. After taking steps towards reducing drinking in her own life, she founded Sober Saturdayz, which is an organization that hosts alcohol-free parties across the city to make it easier for people to have fun “without the hangover.”
Although Sober Saturdayz is not directly tied to FASD, the initiative sends an incredibly valuable message: People can enjoy themselves and stay socially connected without feeling pressured to drink.
This message is especially important to hear in a culture where rates of binge drinking are on the rise, and more than half of pregnancies are unplanned. In the world of FASD, Sober Saturdayz represents a real-life example of how we can work towards preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies and supporting healthy life choices.
Young women become pregnant for a multitude of reasons, some of which are unexpected and some without support or education. The effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can last a lifetime and FASD affects more than just the child, family, and community. The mental and physical problems that may come with FASD are just some of the layers of how deeply rooted a family can be affected. I can only hope that Sober Saturdayz can reach out to young women, show support, build community, and set them up for success to be the mothers I know they want to be.
The first Sober Saturdayz event, Daytime Disco, will be happening in Edmonton on August 25 at El Cortez. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the event page here.