Fair Day has always been one of the biggest highlights of the Mardi Gras festival for me, as it is for a large percentage of our community.

It’s a day where you can catch up with friends you may not have seen since the last Fair Day, sit down on the grass in the sun with a drink and soak in the atmosphere of the day.

This year’s celebration was most impressive. The difference was noticeable even just on the drive-by looking for that ever-elusive Fair Day parking space. It was bright, colourful and packed by the time we arrived about midday.

The thing that strikes me most about Fair Day is that we can come together as a community and have a fantastic time without almost everyone in the crowd being on some type of mind-altering substance.

Sure, there are still some who partake and my guess is that those who don’t partake refrain because it is a school afternoon and the prospect of heading to work the next day looms large.

It’s really quite refreshing to be at a community event without having to step over numerous munted bodies and fight for the Portaloo to use it for the purpose for which it’s actually intended.

Drug use is a common pastime in today’s society and, no matter how many times people are warned of the risks, they continue to partake.

Now more than any other time of the year, when people are prone to over-indulgence, we should be sitting back and taking heed of the many messages out there that can help you to party safely.

These messages include limiting your intake, not mixing different types of drugs, letting your friends know what you are doing, staying hydrated, resting and seeking medical advice the moment you sense there may be something wrong.

For all its critics, harm minimisation information at least allows people to be informed about the risks of what they are doing – much like we see with smoking commercials.

But the message is always clear – if you don’t want to end up in the high-risk group, don’t touch the stuff. Or, in other words, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

I know there is no way we are ever going to eradicate the use of drugs in society – but the least we can do is make informed decisions and look out for each other over the party season because it is all too easy to get carried away.

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