Fall is a busy time of year: academics are in full swing, weekends are filled with sporting events and extracurricular activities, and planning for Halloween ramps up as the calendar turns to October. Halloween safety is important, especially in a new environment (like your college campus) where you can be surrounded by people you don't know well. Some tips for having a safe, fun Halloween include:
  • Use the buddy system. Stick with your friends the whole night, and never walk anywhere alone.
  • Have your phone fully charged and accessible while you are out. Keep your phone at the ready, and load emergency numbers (such as friends, a cab company, and campus security) into your contact list before you head out.
  • Be extremely cautious when meeting new people. Costumes, especially ones that cover the face, create an added layer of anonymity when meeting new people. Be cautious when encountering unknown masked or heavily made-up revelers.
  • Never accept a beverage from someone you do not know. On Halloween (and all the time), watch your drink from the time it is poured until you finish it, and do not accept already-poured cups from people you have just met or do not know.
  • Consider your costume. Avoid wearing a costume that does not allow you to see and move freely. Stop and make sure motorists see you before you cross the street.
Halloween Safety Campaigns
The University of Virginia's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (AD APT) peer educators sponsor a Safe Halloween campaign every year. The campaign utilizes a Halloween pledge:
I pledge to take care of my friends this Halloween by:
  • recognizing my role as a bystander and intervening where I can, but knowing my limits and getting help from others when necessary;   
  • knowing the PUBS signs of alcohol overdose;
  • keeping emergency numbers available and using them in an emergency situation;  
  • doing everything I can to make sure my friends get home safely.
The week of Halloween, ADAPT and other campaign partners table in high-traffic areas handing out candy "reverse trick-or-treat" style, and students who sign the safety pledge receive free giveaways. This campaign can be easily modified to fit your campus and community, so everyone can enjoy a safe Halloween!
Gordie Center Ideas and Updates
Lindenwood University APPLE Team
NCAA Division II APPLE Training Institute

The Gordie Center's APPLE Training Institute for NCAA Division II schools just wrapped up in Reston, VA! Thirty-five NCAA DII teams met over September 22 - 24, 2017, to work on action plans that promote healthy lifestyles and substance abuse prevention within athletic teams and departments. Each team was comprised of student-athletes and administrators - 200 participants overall! Visit the APPLE website to learn more about our Training Institutes for NCAA member schools.
Until next month, 
Susie Bruce,  Director, Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Jill Maurer, National Development & Program Coordinator

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