Y11 Health Day – Part Three – Drugs and Alcohol

Pact – Alcohol and Drugs 

A presentation on alcohol and drugs from Pact (formerly Welltrust) that was focusing on harm reduction strategies and building knowledge and understanding of these substances so that students are equipped to make good decisions.

The workshop looked at the three parts of the brain to help build understanding of how alcohol and drugs affect us. As this health site puts it:

Alcohol can affect parts of the brain that control movement, speech, judgment, and memory. These effects lead to the familiar signs of drunkenness: difficulty walking, slurred speech, memory lapses, and impulsive behavior. Long-term heavy drinking can shrink the frontal lobes of the brain, which impairs thinking skills.

Forbes also has some detail that you might find useful. The workshop focussed on harm reduction strategies:

  • Leave, walk away. The Cinderella move. You don’t need to tell everyone that you are leaving – that can often hold you up – but make it before midnight (the golden hour when everything tends to turn to bad).
  • Eat – eating is not cheating. Being hungry makes us angry and in combination with alcohol consumption things can go badly.
  • Drink water – we need to keep hydrated. Skulling water before you go to bed can help, but drinking water throughout the night is so much more effective in keeping the harm reduced. Have sneaky sips of water when you go to the bathroom.

Red Cross – How to Save a Mate

This presentation was pitched as a workshop to improve understanding of drugs and alcohol with a emphasis on the knowledge needed to deal with different situations. It started by looking at types of drugs from depressants (alcohol, marijuana), stimulants (cocaine, speed, tobacco) hallucinogens (like methamphetamine and marijuana). Different types of drugs have different effects.

Part of saving a mate is recognizing unsafe choices. The workshop had a number of videos and the there was a discussion that followed recognizing some decisions like drinking without food, predator behaviour, the danger of being unconscious and your airways being blocked. Some scenarios showed the danger of mixing drugs and how important it is to know where drugs come from. This is important for your safety and that you make informed choices.

Key points to takeaway:

  • What can you do if you mate looks unwell? Stay with your mate.
  • Mixing different drugs is dangerous;
  • Don’t do drugs alone;
  • Don’t sleep it off, sleeping doesn’t make you sober (slows down the filtration effect of alcohol);
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • When does a mate need saving?

The session finished with the DRSABCG which you use when dealing with an unconscious person. An impressive number of students were already familiar with this process

  • Dangers
  • Response
  • Send for help
  • Airway
  • Breathing
  • Circulation
  • General Care
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