Over the last couple of years I have mentioned a conference that I have regularly attended called Club Health. Last week we received notification that this year the conference will be held in Sydney.

It will be held in the week before the Sleaze Ball weekend (29-30 September), which will hopefully ensure a large number of interstate and international visitors to the party (and the large number of other straight and gay dance events that take place on that long weekend) can take advantage of this exciting conference.

Bars, nightclubs and the other nightlife venues are now a central element in the recreation and enjoyment of millions of people throughout the world. Thriving night-time economies continue to help regenerate cities bringing additional investment, employment and tourism while providing individuals with a place to socialise and opportunities to unwind.

However, nightlife can also lead to a range of health and social issues including alcohol, tobacco and drug use, violence and criminal activity, risky sexual behaviour and environmental and safety issues.

Tackling such issues involves not only a wide range of services protecting and promoting health at night, but also organisations and individuals involved in managing and regulating nightlife environments and those who simply utilise the night-time environment for pleasure.

Club Health 2005 Sydney offers a unique opportunity for individuals from around the world with interests in nightlife to discuss and develop strategies, interventions and research relating to health in the night-time environment.

The conference will be attended by delegates from a wide range of areas including substance use, sexual health, public health, legislation and policing, transport and environmental health.

As well as researchers, health practitioners and local authority representatives, the conference actively seeks to involve nightclub owners, representatives from the music and travel industry and people who simply use nightlife for fun.

This is not a drug conference -“ we are hoping to have a wide range of speakers presenting topics as diverse as clubbing and hearing problems, sexual behaviour of clubbers, harassment and the medical management of dance events.

Hopefully we will get a number of club owners and event promoters to attend, as well as a range of clubbers. Some of the sessions will include clubbing and driving; gay clubbing; GHB; new trends in drug use; peer education; and young clubbers.

If you are interested in attending this two-day conference, watch this space over the coming weeks and we will give you more details about the speakers and the content of this exciting event.

Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use drugs and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blas?

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