It’s that time of the year again – the sun’s out, school’s over and it’s nearly time for Leavers week adventures. No matter what your plans are for Leavers week there are two things you want to be sure of and that’s having a good time and staying safe (yes you can do both!)
Everyone enjoys going out and having a good time and for some people this means experimenting with alcohol and drugs. It can be tough trying to avoid the pressures of alcohol or drugs if people around you are consuming them, and settings like Leavers can be unpredictable. If you do choose to drink alcohol or consume drugs, keep these tips in mind to help you stay safe:
• Decide on what you want from your night, and what you’re willing to do, and make sure you don’t get so wasted that you lose control of your plan.
• To avoid drink spiking, don’t leave your drinks unattended or take drinks from strangers.
• Drink water before, during and after consuming alcohol and/or other drugs to avoid dehydration.
• When you're out, make sure you're with trusted friends, and look out for each other.
• Plan a place to meet up with your friends in case one of you gets separated from the group.
• If you are out, make sure that you have a lift home with someone you know and trust. Never get in a car with someone you don’t know or with a driver who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
• Don’t be afraid to seek help if you or one of your friends needs it. For help from the police call 131 444 and for medical advice Health Direct can be contacted on 1800 022 222. Save 000 for life threatening emergencies.
Mixing drugs and alcohol with sex
can influence the way you think and the decisions you make. It can cloud your judgement and you might say “yes” to something that you don’t really want to do, or might not have done if you were sober. If a person is drunk or high they may fail to use a condom properly, decide it's OK or safe not to use one, or just completely forget to use a condom at all. This increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
and unplanned pregnancy. Keep these tips in mind to help you stay safe:
• If you think sex is a possibility, take some condoms
with you both to Leavers and when you go out during Leavers week, just in case.
• Make sure that any sexual activity you engage in is consensual. Remember that a person is not legally able to consent to sex when they are so drunk or high that they don’t really know what is going on.
• When you're out, make sure you're surrounded by friends and don't be alone with someone who is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
• Say "no" if you want to.
• If you think or know that you may have been sexually assaulted, you can contact the Sexual Assault Resource Centre (9340 1828 or free call on 1800199 888) for help and advice.
If you do have unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) while at Leavers, don’t forget to visit your doctor for an STI test
when you return home. If you don’t know a doctor you can go to you can use Health Engine
to find a doctor or our Find a Service search
to find a sexual health clinic in your area. You can also take a free online STI self-risk assessment on our Online STI Testing page
For more information about Leavers week in WA, events and more tips to stay safe, check out the Leavers website