Friday 21 December 2018
Christmas is a time of celebration when family and friends come together to relax and catch up while bringing in the New Year.
It can however also be associated with over indulgence in alcohol and risk-taking behaviour.
It is also a time when some young people can be at risk of making unsafe choices.
“Keeping safe and looking out for your friends this festive season is the wisest choice to make.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s (MLHD) Director Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Robyn Manzie said young people and the community in general can avoid dangerous and potentially life threatening situations by remembering a few important things:
- Look after your friends – if you are out as a group, look after one another. Stay with people you know and trust. Be aware of what’s happening around you, be confident and assertive and if you pick up “bad vibes” from someone or someplace, trust your instincts, tell someone and leave safely.
- Intoxication can increase the risk of alcohol related violence. Look out for friends and if there’s a risk of a person’s behaviour becoming aggressive move away and / or seek help. Remember one punch can kill or cause serious harm.
- Too often incidents can happen when someone is left behind in a bar or pub, or wanders off by themselves. Stick together and make sure you all have a good time.
- Ensure your phone is charged - if an incident does occur you are prepared and can call 000.
- If you are concerned about a friend’s health and safety due to intoxication or fear they may collapse, do not hesitate, call 000 immediately. While waiting for the ambulance, lay the person on their side in the ‘recovery’ position to maintain their airway and stay with them.
- Celebrating at home: DO NOT let your friend/s “sleep it off”. Check on them periodically to make sure they are conscious. If in doubt about someone’s condition call 000 immediately.
- If arguments arise, walk away, as spending the night in police custody is not a good choice.
- Plan your journey home – never drink and drive or get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Plan how you are getting home at the start of the night – know the times of public transport or pre-book a taxi and remember to keep money aside for the fare.
“This Christmas, plan ahead and look out for your friends so everyone can celebrate and enjoy this year’s festive season,” Ms Manzie said.
For immediate assistance or advice about mental health concerns, please see your doctor or phone the MLHD Mental Health AccessLine on 1800 800 944.