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Safer use of substances and addiction support

Heritage hall with sun reflecting off of the window
Learn more about safer use of substances, including alcohol, nicotine, cannabis and opioids, and resources available.

The safety of the SAIT community is essential and support is available for students. On campus, you can visit the SAIT Health Clinic or make an appointment to speak to a counsellor in SAIT’s Student Development and Counselling office. Off-campus, there are extensive resources and support, several of which are listed below.

Manage Your Cravings workshop

Understand the science behind your cravings – for food, alcohol smoking and more – and learn to recognize and manage triggers. Plus, improve your capacity to handle stressful situations.

Alcohol

Know your limits. Alcohol is the second-most addictive substance after caffeine. Even small amounts can affect academic performance and lead to physical illness.

Plan ahead

Have a plan to get home if you're on a night out — use the SAITALERT app, ride sharing or stay with a friend.

Know when you’ve had enough, usually two drinks a day for women and three drinks a day for men is a good starting point to find your limit. When you’re drinking at home, avoid free-pouring drinks and when you go out, set a limit for yourself beforehand as a safeguard.

👉 Check out Canada Safe Drinking Guidelines.

❔ Visit DrinkSense for a quiz and low-risk guidelines.

Get help

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, connect with resources available to you — including SAIT Student Development and Counselling, SAIT Health Clinic and Alberta Health Services.

Cannabis

Smoking versus edibles. Different ways to consume cannabis come with different side effects, including when you’ll feel the effects, when the effects will peak and how long the effects will last.

Lower risk use

Frequent heavy use can impair academic performance and affect your mental health in ways you may not expect, and heavy use of THC has been linked to psychosis.

Potential short-term impairments/changes include:

  • altered senses
  • changes in mood
  • impaired body movement
  • difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • impaired memory
  • hallucinations or delusions (when taken in high doses).

Only buy from licensed retailers to ensure the product comes from an approved and licensed cannabis facility and THC, CBD and Terpene content will be labeled.

👉 Visit CannabisSense for more information about cannabis.

Get help

If you think you might have a problem with cannabis, connect with resources available to you — including SAIT Student Development and Counselling, SAIT Health Clinic and Alberta Health Services.

Nicotine (smoking/vaping)

Did you know? Nicotine is not harmful in its natural state – it is all the other chemicals that are inhaled alongside it.

There’s no safe way to consume nicotine via vapor or tobacco smoke, except for occasional Indigenous ceremonial use of tobacco. Secondhand smoke and vapor is also harmful for the user and those in the same space, including your pets.

Smoke-free campus

While you don’t have to quit smoking, you may be wondering how you’ll adjust to being on a smoke-free campus. Don’t panic. Here are some tips to help you get through the day.

Get help

If you think you might have a problem with nicotine, connect with resources available to you — including SAIT Health Clinic and Alberta Health Services.

Opioids and naloxone kits

Fentanyl in Canada. Traces of fentanyl are being found in street drugs, including unlicensed cannabis. Fentanyl is often consumed unknowingly and an overdose can be fatal. Opioids can only be used safely when prescribed by a doctor and used as directed.

Opioids include morphine, codeine, heroin, oxycodone and fentanyl. Opioid use is illegal unless prescribed by a doctor. If you have any concerns, talk with a doctor. Injecting opioids is high risk and should be professionally supervised. Use of non-sterilized needles increases the risk of bloodborne disease. There’s a SAIT Health Clinic on the main campus for students to make an appointment with a doctor.

Naloxone kits

Naloxone can be used to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Kits are available at the SAIT Health Clinic and local pharmacies.

👉 Learn more about the Good Samaritan Overdose Act.

Get help

If you think you might have a problem with opioids, connect with resources available to you — including SAIT Student Development and Counselling, SAIT Health Clinic and Alberta Health Services.

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