Safety call on alcohol as new uni year begins

Posted on: Wednesday, 16 March 2011

With the new university year now underway, students are reminded to err on the side of caution when it comes to their alcohol consumption.

Eastern Health's Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre director Professor Dan Lubman said many students would find themselves legally allowed to consume and buy alcohol for the first time while at university, so it was important they understood the consequences of excessive consumption.

A number of universities throughout Australia have organised orientation events this week, with classes set to resume next week.

“University is an exciting time in a young person’s life. However, with that comes responsibility,” Prof Lubman said.

“Drinking heavily and partying hard is often promoted as a core part of university culture, and it is therefore important that students understand the risks and harms associated with excessive drinking.”

Prof Lubman said while universities had taken positive steps by organising alcohol-free events during Orientation Week, students also had to embrace the safety message when they attended parties and other social events.

“It is not about stopping people from having a good time. It is about looking after yourself and your mates,” he said.

Prof Lubman said it was important students knew all the facts about alcohol consumption.

“Alcohol is one of the main causes of physical harm in young people. Drinking heavily affects the way you make decisions and makes you more likely to take risks.

“Being intoxicated increases the likelihood of injuries as a result of fighting or accidents (such as road trauma). Young women are also more likely to be sexually assaulted when under the influence of alcohol.”