Thursday, May 25, 2023

Safer in the Sun: Tips for Safer Substance Use this Summer

With beautiful weather and the promise of summer comes patios, outdoor sports, festivals and other fun! It’s no secret weather plays a role in our overall well-being and mental health, but weather also plays a role in students’ substance use health.

Planning ahead and following Canada’s Low-risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines are just a couple ways to reduce harm and be safer during this summer’s patio and party season. Be around people you know and trust and plan ahead for a safe ride home. Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs alone. If you do, make sure to tell people what your plans are and where you will be. You can also call the National Overdose Response Service, which is Canada’s peer-led overdose prevention hotline.

Alcohol dehydrates you, so have at least one glass of water for every standard drink you consume. You are also more likely to get a sunburn while drinking alcohol. Plan ahead and set reminders for applying and re-applying your sunscreen at the beach, summer parties and while outside.

Your summer first-aid kit should include all the regular kit contents as well as things like sunscreen, bug spray and sunburn cream. Your summer party first-aid kit should also include Naloxone, a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Sign up for one of Carleton’s virtual Naloxone trainings provided in collaboration with NaloxoneCare this summer. There are two training sessions available:

  • Monday, June 19, 2023, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 17, 2023, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The Low-risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines are research-based and are aimed at reducing both short- and long-term harms related to the way the body processes alcohol. Stick to limits you have set, consume slowly and eat before and during alcohol consumption. Avoid using multiple substances at the same time. Try to be mindful of how often and how much you are drinking alcohol or using drugs. If you see a pattern of change in your use, are questioning or becoming concerned about your use, know you are not alone. There are many resources to support you. One good way to check in is by using a quick self-assessment tool like Wellness Together Canada.

The Wellness website contains useful information on Carleton-specific and public resources for people who use substances, people questioning their substance use and people with substance use disorders. On the webpage, you can also find links to virtual All People All Pathways peer support meetings that have been made available through our continued partnership with the Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA). There are weekly meetings available for both students and staff.

If you need further assistance or more information about harm reduction please contact Dillon Brady, the Office of Student Affairs’ Harm Reduction and Conduct Manager.

Don’t forget the sunscreen, Ravens!

Thursday, May 25, 2023 in , , ,
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