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What you drink affects the way you think

Study Hard, Play Safe is the Family Planning theme for O Week 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

National News

Study Hard, Play Safe is the Family Planning theme for O Week 2014 and is focussed on sexual safety while partying.

The O Week campaign, carried out on campuses across the country is designed to raise awareness of sexual health and the influence that alcohol can have on sexual decision-making;

Our chief executive Jackie Edmond says the evidence is now very clear that consumption levels and the harms that come from this higher level of alcohol use are higher for students than for their non-student peers.

Ms Edmond says sexual harm as a result of drinking is a real concern for Family Planning and its O Week campaign is a response to this.

This is one of a number of approaches we are taking to minimising alcohol related harm, including interventions with clients attending its clinics.

"An Otago University study found that 16 per cent of women and 19 per cent of men had sex after drinking that they later regretted," Ms Edmond says.

"The same study found that 34 per cent of women and 25 per cent of men reported that over the previous three months they’d been subjected to unwanted sexual advances because of someone else’s drinking."

"We know that moving away from home to study, living in a halls or with flatmates is a a really exciting time for young people."

"We don’t want to be the fun police – our message is about thinking ahead, about the choices people are comfortable living with and ensuring it’s a really enjoyable and memorable time – with no regrets."

O Week is one of the biggest annual events for our national team of health promoters.

They will be holding stalls at university market days in many areas. They will also be targeting Halls of Residence: organising quiz nights and delivering information and training to RAs (Residential Advisors) to help them support new students.

Study Hard, Play Safe – some things you need to know

Impact of drugs and alcohol

Taking drugs and drinking alcohol can lead to more than just a hangover.

Drugs and alcohol can alter your judgement – you might do things if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs that you wouldn’t otherwise do.

Before you go out, decide how sober and in control you want to be.

Think about your safety and the group of people you’re going to be with – are they good friends and will they take care of you if you can’t take care of yourself?

Consent

Consent means you both agree to what’s happening. It is not okay to talk someone into sexual activities – this could be sexual assault.

Drunkenness is not an excuse, or a legal out, for sexual assault. In a healthy relationship no one person holds the power.

Choosing to be with someone is your decision not someone elses. Both people have to agree for it to be okay.

Sexual safety

Protect yourself and your partner from the risk of sexually transmissible infections (including HIV) or an unplanned pregnancy.

Talk with staff at a Family Planning Clinic, Sexual Health Service or Student Health Services about what contraception is best for you and your lifestyle. For many people your visit will be free.

The ECP (Emergency Contraceptive Pill)

The ECP can prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours (three days) after having unprotected sex, but the sooner you take it the better.

The ECP doesn’t make it harder for you to get pregnant later on, it won’t cause you harm if you use it more than once, or cause an abortion if you’re already pregnant.

Condoms

Condoms should always be used with a water-based lubricant. Condoms are the only contraception that protects against STIs.

Respect yourself, protect your future

If and when you decide you are ready to have sex, choose good sex. That’s the kind you are OK with, not embarrassed about or regret. If you don’t want to do it or it doesn’t feel good – you can say or do something.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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