University and college Freshers’ Weeks are now taking place and many young people will be embracing a new lifestyle, free from parental supervision.
To make sure that that night out in your new city or town is an enjoyable one, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health improvement staff have put together some tips for safe partying.
And the advice will be available next month (?) in a glossy booklet, “Good Times”.
It has been produced by NHS GG&C in association with NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s health improvement team and will be distributed to local universities and colleges.
Julie Craik, Health Improvement Officer –Sexual Health said:
“Starting university and college is exciting and brings opportunities to meet new people ;begin relationships and establish your personal identity.
“With increased opportunities sometimes come increased pressures. It is important that no-one feel pressured into doing anything they don’t want to do.
“Alcohol can reduce inhibitions. It is important that if someone is sexually active that they practice safe sex.
“Free condoms are available from the c-card service, and throughout NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde people can go to Sandyford services for support, safer sex advice, testing and treatment if they are worried about anything relating to sexual health.”
Exploring new pubs and clubs is part of the college and university experience, but keep safe by staying with the group, and look after any friends who may have had too much to drink.
Don’t leave your drink unattended in case someone tries to spike it, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.
Be sure to have a meal before or during a night out because food slows down the absorption of alcohol, consider alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks. Also put aside money for a taxi home.
Stevie Lydon, Alcohol Co-ordinator, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Alcohol Action Team, added:
“If you are going to have a drink, try and drink to be social, not to binge and get drunk.
“Keep in mind that you don’t have to keep up round for round, you can drink at your own pace.”
Think about your drinking and know your units, the recommended daily guidelines are that women should drink no more than 2-3 units per day and men no more than 3-4 units per day. If you do over do it, it’s a good idea to give your body 2 days with out a drink. In fact Scottish Government advice is that we should all aim to have 2 alcohol free days per week.
A unit is equivalent to a single measure (25ml) of spirits e.g. vodka; half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine. Depending on your weight it can take at least an hour to break down a unit of alcohol.
The booklet also provides advice for students on knowing the facts about drugs to enable them to make informed choices, to reduce the dangers and consequences and to provide valuable information on where to get help and support if they are worried about their own or a friends drug use.
Helpful telephone numbers and websites for more information include – Drinkline Scotland, 0800 7314314; www.infoscotland.com/alcohol (information and advice about alcohol) Know the Score (information and advice about drugs) www.knowthescore.info or tel. 0800 5875879; and The Sandyford, www.sandyford.org.
Notes to Editors:
For more information contact Susan Carden, Communications Officer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde tel. 0141 201 4429/305 0305.