A Halloween Party Primer


With midterms, hopefully, behind us we’re now rapidly approaching the end of October, which means one thing: Halloween is nearly here. Maybe you’ve spent the last few weeks preparing the perfect costume, or maybe you’re just in it for the candy, or binging horror films on Netflix, but there’s something for everyone on this spooky day. Halloween parties are also some of the best there are, and one of the best excuses to take a break from studying, to emerge from your study holes, and reconnect with the friends you’ve been too busy to see.

We don’t always think about our safety first when we’re out at parties.  So here is the first of a two part article with tips that we hope will help keep you and your friends safe(r) this year on Halloween. It all starts before you leave for the evening, and taking some precautions to ensure the safety of you and your friends can go a long way to staying safe.

Make sure that your phone has enough power to last through the night! Having a way to call a taxi to go home, or texting your friends to see where they are, all depends on whether or not your phone has enough juice.

Plan how you’re getting to the venue and back. That can be any of a designated driver (DD), taxi, or bus. And maybe, one day, if we’re lucky, Uber. Just make sure you’ve either got money, your UPass or your DD.

Bring along some protection (condoms, oral dams, etc.) if you think you might engage in sex at some point throughout the night. Also, don’t forget to use it. Always remember to ask your partner for consent before engaging in sexual activity. To better understand what consent looks like click here https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/sexual-assault-awareness/consent .

Eat well before you leave. Especially if you’re going to be consuming alcohol. Alcohol enters your bloodstream more rapidly on an empty stomach, increasing the rate of intoxication.

If you’re going to be drinking alcohol, or anything for that matter, it’s important to think about how to do so safely. Frankly, we’re also just less thoughtful when intoxicated and we don’t always make the same decisions we might have when sober.

Be mindful of what you drink: That highball you were just handed? Might not be a single. Vodka is also hard to detect when mixed, and you might find yourself more intoxicated than you intended. This goes for water, too!

Think about what you post online. Not only might you regret posting or texting while you’re intoxicated, but it might also put you in danger if strangers learn of your location.

Look out for your friends. Since alcohol impairs your judgement, those great ideas when you’re intoxicated might not be so great when you’re sober. Make an agreement with your friends to look out for each other- it might help keep you safe.  And, isn’t partying with friends always better? Keep an eye on your friends, and check in with them, especially if they are acting differently than they usually do.

Ask yourself whether you’re comfortable. Maybe you’re being challenged to jump off something. Or over something. If you don’t feel safe, maybe don’t do it. You’re not superman, despite what you’re inebriated brain is suggesting.

Get consent.

Okay! That’s it for today. Check back in tomorrow for some Halloween specific tips and what you can do to keep you and your friends safer if you or your friends will be consuming any drugs.

Post Written by Adam H. and Halina D.

Making your own decisions about alcohol

Post by Kelly White, M.Ed., C.H.E.S., UBC Wellness Centre Coordinator

Making decisions around alcohol use is an individual choice that most students are faced with at some point during their university experience. There’s a lot to consider including whether or not to drink, how much to drink, how regularly, and what kinds of activities to take part in when drinking.

To feel comfortable in your personal decisions about drinking alcohol you can start thinking about them before you arrive at a party or start drinking. This includes knowing the facts, knowing your own values, and ultimately making up your own mind.

How alcohol affects the body

Gathering facts and information is a great way to start. In particular, it’s important to know the effects of alcohol on your body.

Your blood alcohol content (BAC) is determined by several factors including:

Should I worry about ecstasy?


Should I worry about Ecstasy?
zzzack via Flickr

Recent ecstasy-related deaths involving youth and young adults have put the drug in the news in recent weeks. Keep reading to learn more about ecstasy and about some of the warning signs to watch out for if you or someone you know has taken ecstasy. You can also learn more about drug use on Live Well Learn Well, and how any drug that has a negative effect on your ability to actively participate as a student can be harmful.

  1. If you took “E” and feel sick or overheated, don’t wait! Go to a hospital. By the time some people got there, it was too late and they died. (You won’t get arrested!)
  2. “E” is almost ALWAYS a combo drug. You never know what’s in it. One tab tested had: MDMA (Ecstasy), meth, coke, ketamine, DMP, and TFMPP (“Legal X”). PMMA is in “E” too, and it may have been there a while.
  3. PMMA (a toxic meth chemical) has been found in people who died taking so‐called “E”. Even by itself, “E” can cause dangerous body overheating. Overheating can cause seizures, brain damage, or death. PMMA can block the “E” high so people take more and overheat more easily. E + PMMA = more toxic.
  4. Even 1 or 2 tabs can be a problem. Some people’s bodies just can’t handle even one tab. Taking several tabs at once or over a few hours can really be bad.
  5. Using other drugs (booze, prescription or street) at the same time makes toxic effects worse.
  6. If you take “E”, always have someone sober with you to take you to hospital right away if you get sick or overheat.
  7. Best idea? Don’t do “E”, especially right now. Remember, you never know what you are really taking.

(Information in items “1” to “7” distributed by Vancouver Coastal Health and the Vancouver Police Department. Info from BC Drug & Poison Info Centre and BC Coroner Service)
(Source: John Carsley MD, VCH MHO, January 13, 2012©)