Staying Safe this St Patrick’s Day
This Thursday is St.Patrick’s Day. We encourage you to only participate in ways that follow COVID-19 protocols. Below we have included tips & resources to help you have fun AND stay safe!
General Safety Practices
- Stay in groups: Sticking with a group of trusted friends allows for you to look out for each other and contact help if needed.
- Keep your phone on you at all times: Always have your phone charged and with you so you can call someone for help if needed!
- Find a safe way home: Have the cellphone number of a taxi company in your phone, or know how to use ride-share apps to get home.
- Always trust your instincts:On St. Patty’s Day or any other night, if something “just doesn’t feel right”, trust yourself. Leave the party, don’t accept the drink, or say no to whatever is making you uncomfortable.
Get Your St Paddy’s Day Sack
Come out to the Student Wellness Lounge (PGCLL 201) on St. Patrick’s Day to pick up safe(r) substance use and sexual health items. The table will be set up Thursday, March 17 from 12-3:30 while supplies last!
Safer Substance Use
Safer Alcohol Use:
- Be sure to eat before and while drinking
- Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
Safer Cannabis Use:
- If you are under 25, you are more likely to experience long-term harm from cannabis use as your brain is still developing
- Edibles usually take 45 minutes to 3 hours to kick in. Be careful to not consume more than you intended.
- Drugs can impair your ability to drive safely and increase the risk of getting into a collision. In fact, cannabis increases your chance of a car accident. The percentage of Canadian drivers killed in vehicle crashes who test positive for drugs now actually exceeds the numbers who test positive for alcohol!
- Cannabis use can affect your motor skills; slow reaction time; impair short term memory and concentration; therefore causing drivers to vary speed and to wander; and reduce their ability to make decisions quickly or handle unexpected events.
How to help someone who has consumed too much:
- Stay with them
- Bring them to a safe space
- Put them in the recovery position
- Call 911 if they are unconscious or unresponsive
How to put someone into the recovery position:
Spiking & tampering of drinks:
- You should NEVER spike or tamper with someone’s drink! To spike a drink means to put alcohol or drugs into someone’s drink without their knowledge or permission. Doing so is a criminal act, and you can be charged with assault causing bodily harm by administering noxious things.
- Prevention tips:
- Don’t accept drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.
- Do not drink something you didn’t see being opened or poured.
- If you notice someone attempting to spike or tamper with drinks, get help!
- Signs your drink may have been spiked or tampered with include:
- foggy appearance
- excessive bubbles
- sinking ice
- change in colour
- Ways to help someone whose drink may have been spiked or tampered with:
- Tell bar staff
- Stay with them
- Call an ambulance if needed
- Don’t let them go home alone or with a stranger
- Discourage further alcohol intake
Safe & Consensual Sex
STI’s & Protection:
- Always ensure you and your partner(s) are aware of STIs and your sexual health
- It can be challenging to disclose a positive STI status to sexual partners. However, these conversations can help make sex even more fun! Visit this website for some tips on discussing positive STI status.
- It’s completely OK to talk about the type of protection you’d like to use (condom, internal condom, dental dam, etc.)! It’s also important to honour the precautions your partner(s) would like to take.
- In need of protection? Come by the SWC Lounge and grab some FREE condoms/ internal condoms! PGCLL 210/201 (Mon-Fri: 9am-4:30pm).
- In need of STI Testing? Book an appointment with the SWC! Call 905-525-9140 ext. 27700.
Practicing Consent: Use the FRIES model!
If you are not sure whether they are thinking and communicating normally, wait until they are sober to check for consent. Remember, consent can be expressed by words or conduct and even if consent was expressed previously it can be reversed. Check in with your partner(s) at all stages of intimacy.
Safety Resources: On & Off Campus
- First Aid – 905 522 4135
- Sexual Violence (SVPRO) – 905 525 9140 ext 20909
- Walk Home Buddy (SWHAT) – 905 525 9140 ext 27500
Off Campus Resources
- Emergency – 911
- Police (Non-Emergency) – 905 546 4925
- Sexual Assault 24/7 (SACHA) – 905 525 4162
Collaborating for a safe, respectful St. Patrick’s Day
“Heading into St. Patrick’s Day, please be considerate of the families, seniors, and fellow students who live around the university. While socializing with friends, our ask is that students avoid the extremely high risks associated with large gatherings, whether in Hamilton or in any community across Ontario,” says Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president and dean of students at McMaster University. Read the full article here.Alcohol, Cannabis, & Substances, Sexual Health