Okay it’s party season – let’s talk about how to stay safe and still have fun – and don’t worry, I am NOT going to tell you to not party, have a one-night stand or casual sex (or more!), do drugs, or any other brand of crazy that you wanna get up to. I AM going to offer some handy and simple tips and tricks to look after yourself in what can be a very busy and stressful time of the year.  

If you are drinking (in the hot sun in particular!) make sure to drink something that isn’t alcohol every now and then – it doesn’t have to be water, just drink some lemonade or something, you’ll feel better the next morning, and I say that from experience. Also, try not to drink alone, or at the very least, let someone know where you will be drinking to help keep you safe. Know who you can call in an emergency at 3am when you are walking down the street, crying your eyeballs out because you got sad-drunk. (Again, I speak from experience).  

Try and remember to practise safer sex – condoms and lube are number one, if you have a uterus, maybe look at some birth control options (if you are under 25, you can access the Youth Health Fund to access some of these services, for example, a copper IUD lasts for up to 10 YEARS and you can get it done for free!). Remember to get tested for STIs, Clinic 60 in Hobart, and Clinic 34 in Launceston, offer bulk-billing (free with a Medicare card) testing and treatment options. If you are a man having sex with other men, look into getting yourself some PrEP which helps lower your risk of HIV. You can get PrEP from these same clinics, or your GP, as well.  

If you are using drugs first try to get them tested. Then, go low and go slow. What I mean is, start with a small dose, especially if it is your first time trying that drug, or it is a new batch, and do not take more until you start to feel it – for example, there is a new drug on the market that is being sold as ketamine, but is actually a completely new and not very well-known drug that we call CanKet. It takes longer to kick in and we don’t really know much else about it, including short-term and long-term side effects. So, if you take some CanKet, but you think you are taking ketamine, you should wait just a little bit longer than usual to feel it, so that you don’t get a nasty surprise.  

Finally, take some time for self-care, I hate forcing time for this until I do a facemask or something and then BAM – I feel like I can breathe again. Facemasks are a lifesaver here, but you might also want to go for a walk, meditate, watch your favourite movie or tune out with some videogames instead.   

Now go on my darlings, be free, and enjoy your hot girl summer!  


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