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- Inside The Academy
Sexual health, drugs and alcohol
Sexual health is not just about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexual health means caring for yourself physically and mentally when you are in a sexual relationship. Key features of positive sexual health include consent, respect and enjoyment for both partners.
Sexual health checks are important for anyone who is sexually active. Depending on your personal circumstances checks may include testing for STI's, pap smears for women, discussion about appropriate contraception or your rights in a sexual relationship.
One in 10 sexually active young Australians say they did not use any form of contraception the last time they had sex, which has resulted in an alarming increase in the number of reported Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Contraceptives can offer effective protection from unwanted pregnancy and some will help protect you against STIs - so it's important to know what is best to help you stay safe.
If you would like to book a sexual health check you can visit your local GP or a specialist sexual health clinic (opens in a new window) with professional staff who specialise in this area. Additionally, you can call the NSW Sexual Health InfoLine – 1800 451 624 9:00am to 5:30pm .
Free condoms are available from the Welfare Officer on your campus, who is also able to provide you with sexual health information and referrals to external services.
Want more information?
Take the Nurse Netti confidential quiz (opens in a new window) to find out what your risk of contracting an STI could be, or visit Playsafe (opens in a new window) for safe sex resources, including information about STI symptoms, testing and treatment. Visit Family Planning NSW (opens in a new window) for more information about contraception, sexual and reproductive health services.
Alcohol and other drugs
Alcohol can play a large part in the social culture at university. Be informed about the immediate potential health risks, as well as the associated risks that alcohol and other drug use can have in relation to road accidents, trauma based injuries and sexual health.
Four Australians under 25 die due to alcohol related injuries in an average week and 70 Australians under 25 will be hospitalised due to alcohol caused assault in an average week, Find out more at Drinking Nightmare online (opens in a new window).
Drink responsibly by monitoring your alcohol use. Know what a standard drink (opens in a new window) is and keep track of how much you are drinking. Don't drink and drive. If you are drinking make sure you plan ahead and have a couple of options to get home safely. Make sure you and your friends are safe.
Energy Drinks and Alcohol
Energy drinks are promoted as being beneficial in increasing stamina and concentration. The high levels of caffeine in these drinks can cause adverse health effects with over consumption and there is ongoing debate about whether they are safe. In combination with alcohol, energy drinks can cause additional risks as caffeine can act as a masking agent. This may mean that a person doesn't feel as drunk as they actually are and there is an increased risk of alcohol related harm such as drinking too much or being injured in an accident or fight. Health professionals recommend that the consumption of alcoholic energy drinks be avoided. For more information visit the Australian Drug Foundation (opens in a new window).
Better Health Victoria (opens in a new window) features interactive tools to monitor your alcohol use and help you understand how alcohol may impact your life.
Drugs are classified as illegal when they pose a serious threat to your health. In addition to the health risks from the drug, when taking an illegal substance there is no way of knowing exactly what it is made from, how strong it is or what it may be mixed with. Some drugs are addictive and can have serious effects on both your physical and mental health.
If you are struggling with alcohol or drug use or have a friend that you are concerned about, you can find more information about drug use and getting help at the NSW Drug and Alcohol information service website Your Room (opens in a new window).
If you would like to talk to someone about it you can contact your GP or make an appointment to speak with a Western Sydney University Counsellor.