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Presented by : The Office of Student Outreach & Support and the Wellness, Alcohol & Drug Education Program Marci Berney, Director (610)

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Presentation on theme: "Presented by : The Office of Student Outreach & Support and the Wellness, Alcohol & Drug Education Program Marci Berney, Director (610)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Presented by : The Office of Student Outreach & Support and the Wellness, Alcohol & Drug Education Program Marci Berney, Director (610) Studying Abroad: What you should know to Stay Safe

2 Overview Alcohol & Drugs Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Contact Information

3 Test Your Knowledge… Self-Test: Please answer the questions that you received about alcohol & drug use abroad

4 Test Your Knowledge… True or False: American laws apply to me when I am abroad because I am an American citizen.  FALSE True or False: Different countries have different customs surrounding the use of alcohol.  TRUE In Spain, if you are caught with marijuana how many years could you be sentenced to jail for?  12 True or False: If you are arrested while abroad you will be able to be released from jail on pre-trial bail.  FALSE - Most countries do not allow pre-trial release on bail

5 Test Your Knowledge… True or false: In most countries it is acceptable to be loud and draw attention to yourself when drinking.  FALSE What are some factors that make drug and alcohol use more dangerous abroad? Why might you drink more when you are abroad? True or False: In some countries, one drink is much stronger than one drink in America.  TRUE

6 Test Your Knowledge… True or False: In many countries drug possession and drug trafficking are seen as the same thing and hold similar sentences.  TRUE True or False: AA holds meetings in countries all over the world.  TRUE (AA contact information for 58 countries can be found at:

7 Attitudes  Attitudes surrounding alcohol and drug use vary culture by culture  Social drinking is the norm in Western Europe. Most Western Europeans will drink early in the day but typically drink more slowly.  Australian beer is stronger than most beer found in the United States. (Yuengling 3.8 – 5 % alcohol vs 4.2 – 7.1 % alcohol for AUS beers)  Alcohol is illegal in many Muslim countries. Some, however, do provide drinking permits.

8 Customs  Even if it is legal for you to drink in the country where you are studying, and drinking may be an accepted part of the culture, there are still many customs regarding alcohol use that may be different than those in the U.S.  Examples include:  Binge drinking and public drunkenness are unacceptable  Violence (which often increases following alcohol consumption) is not acceptable  Being loud and calling attention to yourself while drinking and socializing are offensive behaviors  In addition to familiarizing yourself with the laws of the country, familiarize yourself with the country’s customs

9 A Word of Caution  Since attitudes towards alcohol and drugs can differ widely from the U.S. and students may not know what effect they may have, it is important to have a strategy for staying safe.  Intoxication can and will impair your judgment.  Just because the drinking age may be lower, it does not mean that public drunkenness is acceptable.  Students struggling with addiction may have trouble overseas. The loneliness and culture shock can make it worse.

10 Alcohol-Related Consequences  Emotional, academic, social, legal problems  Language and cultural differences  Frequency of drinking is associated with drinking-related problems  Harm reduction and its application…  too much + too fast = high risk

11 The Law  Familiarize yourself with the laws and penalties of the country where you will be studying

12 Laws Regarding Alcohol & Drugs  Each country has different laws regarding the use and possession of alcohol and drugs  Even though the drinking age is under 21 in most countries outside of the U.S. there are still laws and customs surrounding alcohol use  For example, many countries have laws about public consumption of alcohol and public drunkenness  In many countries, the laws regarding illegal drugs are stricter than in the U.S.  For example, in Spain, if you are caught with marijuana you can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison

13 Drug Offenses Abroad  According to the U.S. Department of State:  Few countries provide a jury trial  Many countries do not permit pre-trial release on bail  Pre-trial detention, often in solitary confinement, can last several months  Prisons may lack even minimal comforts, such as beds, toilets, and washbasins  Diets in prison are often inadequate and require supplements from relatives and friends  Officials may not speak English  Physical abuse, confiscation of property, degrading treatment and extortion are possible  Persons convicted may face sentences ranging from fines and jail time, to years of hard labor, and even the death penalty  Penalties for drug possession and for drug trafficking are often the same abroad, so possession of one ounce of marijuana could result in years in a foreign jail

14 Why is alcohol use and drug use more dangerous abroad?  Penalties for violating laws may be stricter  You are unfamiliar with your surroundings which makes you more vulnerable  Officials may not speak English, so if you are taken to the hospital or are arrested you may have difficulty communicating  You may drink more when abroad because of the culture surrounding alcohol use, increased availability & decreased cost of alcohol, a desire to fit in, higher alcohol content in drinks, etc.  If you experience homesickness, you may be tempted to turn to drugs or alcohol to deal with it

15 Studies show…  Students drink double their intake of alcohol while abroad  Everything may be different but your body’s ability to handle alcohol has not changed  Risks increase abroad- getting lost, assaults, petty theft

16 “Date-Rape Drugs”  International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) –  Use of “date-rape” drugs is on the rise abroad  Comes in many forms: powder, liquid, cigarettes  Key tips:  Don't go out ALONE! Always go out with someone you can trust.  Don't accept a drink, a cigarette, or anything consumable from anyone you do not know and trust.  Never leave your drink or beverage unattended. If you do leave your drink, order ANOTHER one.  Be reasonably cautious of people who go out of their way to befriend you.  Don't go to a house party ALONE  If possible, always carry a cell phone abroad and be able to reach those you trust QUICKLY. Know how to text your friends in an emergency, considering that your friend(s) may be in the same room you are in.

17 Alcohol or drugs may cause you to…  Ignore or miss cues  Not notice attempts to isolate you as a way to facilitate an assault  Be encouraged to drink more to facilitate an assault  Unsuccessfully resist an assault

18 Crime Prevention  Be aware of stereotypes of US men & women  Sexual harassment- unwanted attention from strangers  Stay together or in a group  Alcohol and Drugs can cause you to ignore cues that help you to evaluate your safety…  Someone may encourage you to drink to facilitate an assault  Be aware of “date rape” drugs: pills, liquid, cigarettes

19 Sexual Assault & Rape  Sexual assault is a traumatic experience for anyone.  It can happen anywhere & to anyone.  Sexual assault is a crime of violence. It is never about love or affection- it is about power & control.  Victims of sexual assault may feel violated and powerless.

20 Perpetrators  Perpetrators of sexual violence may use drugs, threats, power, force, or manipulation to attempt to control their victim.  Perpetrators are more often male but males can also be victims of sexual assault.  Trust your gut.  Perpetrators are not always strangers…

21 Risk Reduction

22 Boundaries  Intrusive Invasion of Boundaries  If someone gives you more attention than you want, or is finding excuses to touch you, this can be potentially dangerous.  Trust your “gut” feeling- your intuitive sense that something is not right.

23 Tips to Reduce Risk  Be aware of surroundings & if you are uncomfortable, leave  Use the buddy system  Be aware of unwelcome attention  Do not accept drinks from anyone or leave them unattended  Alcohol is the #1 date rape drug- know your limits  Don’t allow yourself to be isolated

24 Response  Sexual assault is a crime of motive & opportunity. Ultimately there is no surefire way to prevent an attack and it is never the victim’s fault.  Find someone you know & trust to support you. You need to be control of the response.  Get medical assistance  Decide whether or not to report the assault to police.  Counseling  Support at SJU

25 How to help a friend  Always believe a victim and reaffirm that it is not their fault  Try and offer a safe environment  Do not blame the victim  Do not push the victim to make quick decisions. Let them decide in a pace in which they want to talk about the experience  Be patient and supportive

26 Contact Marci Berney Director of Student Outreach & Support Wellness, Alcohol, & Drug Education Program (610) Campion Hall, 212 Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) (610) Merion Gardens A504 REPP (Rape Education Prevention Program) (610) Office of Public Safety & Security (Can contact CAPS or REPP on call 24/7) (610)


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