The best place to start is to look at the MRS alcohol policy. This gives you a very clear picture of alcohol at MRS! And below you can see some of the messages we display around MRS in our Drink Smart, Drink Safe campaign.
Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol and MRS
From one of our residents, Eddie
"One of the things I like the most about MRS is the way drinking (alcohol) is managed. If you are over 18, then you are allowed to drink but you are responsible for how much you drink and the consequences of your behaviour when you drink. Residents can’t pressure each other to drink or play drinking games and the culture is ‘drink if you want, but only if you want, and drink for enjoyment, not to get drunk’. It can be a bit hard, as a lot of us have just turned 18, and only begun to drink alcohol (and we make mistakes) but the message remains clear, it is my right to drink if I want, but it is my responsibility to look after myself (and respect my fellow residents) if I do drink."
MRS’s attitude to alcohol is that all residents over the age of 18 are permitted to drink alcohol in a safe and appropriate manner (in areas where alcohol is permitted) – but they are held responsible for their actions whilst under the influence of alcohol. We try and make sure our communities are based on positive interactions between residents – and in most cases this does not involve alcohol. We also know that the vast majority of our residents who do consume alcohol, do so in a safe and responsible way – and that although part of the residential experience for some of our residents, in no way should alcohol be viewed as ‘central to life on res’!
It can seem difficult to know how to behave in a new place (especially in regards to drinking alcohol), but remember that your real friends won’t care how much (or little) you drink – just like you don’t care if they drink.
All drugs have an adverse reaction as they change the way your brain works, which consequently affects the way you think. Each individual has a different reaction to drugs. Your mood and the environment at the time of taking the substance may affect your reaction to it. This means that you have no idea what a drug is going to do to you, as there are too many variables.
It is important to remember that you should not feel pressure to drink, or to try and match the drinking levels of other students. Alcohol is to be enjoyed (if that is your choice), however consumed responsibly.
When you are out
When you are out, drink spiking can occur if alcohol or another drug is added to your drink unknown to you. There are a number of ways to avoid having your drink spiked. Do not accept drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended. Do not drink anything you have not opened or that you did not see opened or poured. If at any stage you are unsure about your drink, it’s better to be safe and not consume it.
If you think your drink has been spiked, be sure to tell a friend, the bar or security staff, or the police. Doctors can test for traces of certain drugs through urine or blood tests as long as it is within 24 hours. If you think that you have been assaulted or raped, it is important that you tell a friend or family member, and go to a doctor or hospital.
If you are worried that you have ingested a spiked drink, there are a few signs that may confirm this. These signs include dizziness, feeling sick, feeling intoxicated after having little to drink, passing out and memory blank.
If you want to read more about personal safety – click here.
MRS works closely with AlcoCups – a leading alcohol education provider for Universities, in the delivery of training for all our residents around safe and responsible consumption of alcohol.
We’ve also developed a compulsory online module that all residents are required to complete in the first fortnight of them moving on to campus. You will hear more about this from your Residential Support Teams, and you can speak to them for further information.
There are lots of good government and community resources where you can learn about alcohol – and Drinking Smart and Safe – so try some of these websites:
- http://www.alcohol.gov.au – the Australian Government resource for Alcohol (lots of information)
- https://drinkwise.org.au – The Australian Alcohol industry page promoting safe drinking (aimed at young adults!)
- http://www.drinkingnightmare.gov.au – the title is misleading – there is lots of information here to make sure you enjoy your night out – although the campaign is now over, the message remains relevant
- http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-topics/alcohol-guidelines – These guidelines helped influence the MRS alcohol policy – and give medical information relating to alcohol
MRS has a very clear policy on illegal drugs Illegal Drugs are not permitted or tolerated at MRS, but you may still come into contact with them at some stage of your University experience. Remember that illegal drugs are illegal for a reason and usually because of the risk of harm to individuals (you). You may also have experience of someone offering you drugs, or attempting to ‘spike’ your drink when you are out (see above). Play it safe and be careful!
You can also learn more online:
- http://www.drugs.health.gov.au – The Australian Government ‘combatting illegal drugs’ resource
- https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/healthyliving/drugs – the Victorian Government drugs website
- http://headspace.org.au – Has information about alcohol and other drugs – for a young adult audience