Substance Choices Seminar series: helping students party safely

Photo Credit: Brock University

Photo Credit: Brock University

Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre will be hosting a handful of seminars this fall on student substance choices.

The Substance Choices Seminar series will be held in the Kenmore Lounge on various dates throughout October and November and will cover topics like binge drinking, substance use and misuse, how to respond to a potential overdose, consent and more.

Julie Fennell, the health education promoter at the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre,  recommends the seminars to all students on campus, whether you are a first year, whether you drink alcohol, do drugs, do both, or do neither, as the seminar series speaks to issues related to substance use and abuse that affect everybody.

“The seminar series is for students to understand and learn about substances, both alcohol and drugs, how to use them safely if they are going to use them and information about the use of these substances … I think that the workshop would be of use because it gives a general first level education on drugs and alcohol use,” said Fennell.

The seminar series is administered in a peer to peer format, meaning that the information is provided at the seminars to students by students, but is professionally informed.

“It’s a peer to peer seminar series, meaning we have written it but the students will be giving it. The reason for this is because we want the students who take it to feel completely comfortable with talking about it, asking any questions and not feeling like their mother is answering the questions that they have,” said Fennell. “I train the peers, they are well trained. We have created the workshop with Student Health Services and Niagara Region Public Health to make sure it is all up to date, correct information and that it is evidence based.”

One thing that the series does touch on however is cocaine use, which has recently been on the rise in Canada. According to the Global Drug Survey 2019, Canada ranked second in the world for cocaine use.

“We have also seen an increase in the use of cocaine, which is a general thing that we can see across Canada. That is part of our workshop, we will be talking about cocaine use, how it affects the body and what addiction to it looks like,” said Fennell.

The series also focuses on the behavioural aspects of alcohol and drug use and abuse as well, including consent.

“If you are not sober you cannot give consent and if your partner is under the influence they cannot either,” said Fennell.

For those who may feel ostracized or intimidated by attending the seminar series but are looking for more information on alcohol and drug use and abuse, Fennell suggested that they speak with the Community Addiction Services of Niagara (CASON) representative that is on campus at Brock.

Fennell also mentioned that they will be holding an event called Unblur the Lines on October 30 to learn about consent, cannabis use, mixing cannabis and alcohol and more in order to help students have a good time while also staying safe — especially with Halloween coming up.

Interested students may RSVP for one of the many upcoming Substance Choices Seminars on ExperienceBU. The next seminar will be held on Thursday, October 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Kenmore Lounge. You can also follow the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre on Instagram @brockswac for more information.

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