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Safe partying tips for ‘Schoolies’

In the lead up to ‘schoolies’ or ‘leavers’ events it’s a good idea to have The Other Talk with your child and discuss some of the tips below for staying safe and having a good time during the celebrations.

 

Have a plan for the week

  • Keep busy – find out about activities so alcohol doesn’t become the main focus for the celebration. Travel agents now offer schoolies packages with fun activities without alcohol.
  • Register as a schoolie – you can get heaps of free stuff, information on activities, discounts and priority entry into venues (see links under further information).
  • Book accommodation – make sure you know where you’re staying before leaving home.
  • Have enough money – for food, accommodation, activities and to use in an emergency. If you plan to drink, have a budget for alcohol so you don’t run out of money for other things.

 

Come prepared with ID

  • Carry appropriate ID – it can be an 18+ card, keypass, driver’s licence or passport.
  • Don’t fake it – carrying a fake ID is against the law and you can be fined.

 

Think before drinking alcohol

  • You don’t have to drink alcohol to have fun – make sure you create good memories at schoolies not bad ones. If you do drink, don’t get drunk.
  • Eat and drink water – if you drink alcohol make sure you eat too, and drink water between alcoholic drinks.
  • Stay on the right side of the law – giving your friends who are under 18 alcohol is illegal if you don’t have their parent’s consent under secondary supply laws. You can be fined $7,000 to $13,000.
  • Take extra care overseas – if you’re drinking alcohol in Indonesia (Bali) or Thailand, avoid cocktails and spirits that can be contaminated with methanol. Stick to bottled beer.

 

Think before taking drugs

  • There’s no way of knowing what you’re taking  it’s impossible to be sure what an illegal drug contains or the strength, so stay safe and say no.
  • Drugs affect everyone differently – just because a friend has taken a drug and is OK doesn’t mean it will have the same effect on you.
  • Don’t mix drugs – taking different drugs at the same time (including with alcohol, prescription medicine and over-the-counter drugs) can have unpredictable effects and can make it easier to overdose.
  • Avoid synthetic drugs – these drugs are not necessarily safe even though they are sometimes sold in shops and online. Early research suggests they may have more unpredictable effects than common illegal drugs.
  • Never carry or consume illegal drugs overseas – many countries have tough penalties for people arrested with drugs, including life imprisonment or death.

 

Look after yourself and your friends

  • Be a good friend – don’t leave your mates on their own. Make it easy for them to look after you by sticking with them or letting them know where you’re going.
  • Think ahead – organise a safe place to meet in case you get separated from your friends.
  • Charge your phone – don’t forget to take your charger and make sure it’s fully charged before going out.
  • Trust your instincts – if you don’t feel safe you probably aren’t.
  • Avoid risky situations – drugs and alcohol affect your judgement and stop you thinking clearly.
  • Say no to violence – report violence or threats of violence to police.
  • Keys please – drinking and driving don’t mix, not for you and not for your friends.
  • Drink spiking – watch your drinks, if you are unsure if your drink has been spiked, leave it.
  • No means no – it’s OK to say no to sex and pressuring someone else into having sex is sexual assault and illegal. But carry condoms in case you decide to have sex.

 

Swim safely

  • Alcohol and swimming don’t mix – don’t swim or do water sports when you’ve been drinking or taking drugs.
  • Stay with other people – never swim or surf alone, or at night.
  • Swim in safe locations – swim between the flags.

 

Be SunSmart

  • Slip, slop and slap – when you’re drinking it’s easy to forget to be SunSmart.

 

Respect the area and environment you’re visiting

  • No butts or glass on the beach – use cans and plastic bottles only.
  • Clean up after yourself – take rubbish with you and recycle if possible.

 

Know what to do if you get in trouble

  • Ask for help – there are lots of people who can provide on-the-ground help and assistance during schoolies such as police, volunteers (like Red Frogs), and youth workers.
  • Learn basic first aid – if a friend is drunk or sick, stay with them. If they want to lie down, put them on their side in case they vomit.
  • Call triple zero (000) – if someone passes out or looks like they’re in trouble. Paramedics don’t need to involve the police.

 

Further information

 

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