In the lead for alcohol education

Flinders Living is setting a precedent for alcohol education, piloting a successful morning-after drink driving awareness program this year and winning an award for excellence in alcohol education.

The program ‘What’s your BAC?” was delivered to around 200 students who reside in University Hall, aiming to educate them on the risk of drink driving in the morning when Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) may still be elevated from the night before.

Anticipated outcomes were increased knowledge on:
• tracking alcohol intake
• how the body processes alcohol
• BAC and using breathalysers to check safety of driving
• SAPOL’s Random Breath Testing (RBT) program

The project was developed as part of Flinders Living’s UniCAN Level 5 Accreditation. UniCAN (Universities Changing Alcohol Norms) is a collaboration between Alcohol and Drug Education Specialists (ADES) and the Asia Pacific Student Accommodation Association that aims to reduce alcohol related harm and change culture in residential colleges.

Each year, Flinders Living runs a different UniCAN program and is required to meet specific standards to progress to the next level of accreditation.

Flinders is currently one of only four universities/providers at the current highest level of 4, and received the ADES’ Excellence in Providing Alcohol Education award this year.

For this year’s program Flinders Living purchased a high-quality breathalyser, and during O Week students were given disposable breathalysers that indicate if BAC is over 0.02.

The project team shared their messages through social media posts in the closed group for Flinders University Hall. Content included strategies that don’t work to bring down BAC – including cold showers, greasy food or coffee, that hangovers are not an indicator of sobriety, RBT reminders, and offers to use the Flinders Living breathalyser in the morning. The breathalyser was not available at night to eliminate potential competitive behaviour misuse.

At the end of the campaign, residents were surveyed on its efficacy with 80% saying it had made them more aware of the risk of drink driving in the morning and many commenting on its high value.

Flinders Living hosts more than 563 students, with 209 living in University Hall and 354 in Deirdre Jordan Village.

In the Hall, the Duty Residential Tutor can be contacted for after-hours emergencies and was also available to breathalyse residents in the mornings for the duration of the campaign.

The program will run again next year.

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