Mixing weed with summer holidays: road trip or dead end

The summer holidays are here and it is time to relax, take it easy and freshen up before you launch into the new year. With many of us looking at taking a road trip around Australia or sporting holidays, it's important to remember the short-term effects of cannabis on your physical and mental abilities and how this can affect your safety.

iStock_000029167040Large.jpgThe summer holidays are a time to chill out and relax, so in our time off, most Aussies flock to the great outdoors to take advantage of the long days, hot sun and endless blue skies. Summer is a time to hang out with friends and family, the perfect time to go on that road trip around Australia you ve been planning all year (radio blaring of course), or maybe hit the surf with your mates. The mountain bikers, hikers and rock climbers among us take to our many national parks and push themselves to the physical limit. Others race to our beautiful rivers, lakes and harbours for sailing, water skiing, fishing and diving. The possibilities are as just about as endless as the days are hot.

Making the most of your summer

The majority of Aussies heading out this summer, regardless of activity, are all looking for the same thing: they just want to unwind. Most of us work hard all year, all the time thinking about that warm escape at the end, where we can blow off steam and recharge the batteries. So as the beer gardens fill up and the cricket sets get dusted off, it s worth remembering there are some activities that, when combined with drugs like weed, are probably best reconsidered.

NCPIC recently caught up with a good mate and active young guy in his mid-twenties who always gets stuck right into the summer fun. Driving to festivals, canyoning and spear fishing with a few mates are his favourite ways of escaping when the weather starts to heat up. Problem is, when a person, like this guy, starts the day with one of many joints, their focus and coordination can be impacted by the short-term effects of cannabis in such a way that those activities are no longer really safe for that person or even those around them.

It's easy to see the appeal - until you really think about it

It's understandable that most of us want to take the edge off and slip seamlessly into that Aussie summer vibe. So a few puffs before you head off to do whatever it is that you love to do will make it just that little bit more enjoyable. And besides, you re on holidays!

It might sound obvious to some, but many people like the young guy we spoke to, have never actually considered the implications of what they are doing after smoking in his case, swimming while high, in rough surf with a loaded spear gun. He thought it made swimming in open sea a bit less frightening, but with the short-term effects of cannabis including less coordination, focus, possible paranoia and slower reaction times, we can all see why it could potentially also cause quite the opposite effect.

When you smoke weed...

You can feel an overall sense of well-being. You lose some of your inhibitions. You can feel relaxed and chilled out. But also your reaction time, attention, and decision-making skills are negatively affected. The same goes for time/distance perception and concentration: those are all pretty important skills when doing your favourite summer activities like boating, rock climbing, surfing and especially driving. Particularly when you are surrounded by close friends and family.

Enjoy the summer, wherever you are

So get out and take advantage of those long summer days and the fact that everyone seems just that bit more carefree than the rest of the year. But before you do, maybe just consider that there are some of your favourite summer activities really don t mix well with weed.