Last week was NUSU’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week. As part of the event, stall and workshops were set up in and around campus raising awareness of the risks associated with drugs and alcohol and offering advice.
Messages about harm reduction could be seen around campus on Monday, and on Tuesday Mind the Gap Student Society were outside the Students’ Union informing people about the relationship between mental health difficulties and drug and alcohol abuse.
For students interested in finding out the impact alcohol has on their body, Newcastle Public Health Team were outside the Students’ Union on the 11th showing people the calorific content of what they were drinking. The stall was also promoting the Safer Clubbing Campaign with ‘Dance Not Chance’ posters offering advice on how to be safer in a club or house party environment. Sarah Hulse, a member of the Public Health Team, said it was important to inform students “how to go out and have a good time, but be safe with drugs and alcohol”.
‘To know your limits and what you can handle in terms of alcohol consumption. To know what is safe for you as an individual.’
The week also involved a visit from Northumbria Police, who were on campus performing breathalyser tests on volunteers last Thursday. Students were finding out how far over the driving limit they would be after a night out, trying on beer goggles, and cashing in on a free Freddo outside the Students’ Union. PC Mo Khan told The Courier what message this event aimed to convey to students: “To know your limits and what you can handle in terms of alcohol consumption. To know what is safe for you as an individual.”
For those seeking advice with any problems surrounding drugs and alcohol, the Student Advice Centre ran a Confidential Drop-in Session on Wednesday afternoon.
The week closed with an end of Freshers community clean-up, with volunteers picking up bottles and broken glass left from nights out around the area.
The aim of Drug and Alcohol Awareness week was to help students to be more mindful of the mental and physical effects of drug and alcohol consumption and advise them on how to be safe. It also considered the impact of drugs and alcohol on aspects of student life such as driving and clubbing, as well as effects on the local environment.