Think Forward | My personal intention

This is the exact content found in the “Think Forward | My personal intention” activity within the Pre-Arrival Program.


Regardless of whether or not you choose to partake, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter substance use while at UVic. Do you know what you want your relationship with substances to be? Have you decided what activities you are and are not willing to engage in or what consequences you’re willing to accept and which you would like to avoid?

Answering questions on the next page will help you navigate some of those questions and develop a personal intention for your own substance use. Reflect back on the benefits and harms activity you completed earlier in this module as you develop your personal intention. Your answers in this activity will be kept confidential and will not be seen by other students.

Not too much

When it comes to substance use, what do you define as ‘too much’? This could be a concrete quantity or you could define too much as reaching a certain behaviour or state. Are there certain consequences/harms that you want to avoid? Are there certain substances you want to avoid?

Example: Any quantity of substance use is too much and I will choose not to participate.

Example: I will drink as a social activity with my friends, but I want to avoid drinking so much that I feel uncoordinated and impaired. I never want to reach a point where I lose consciousness.

Not too often

What do you define as ‘too often’? How many times per week/month are you okay with engaging in substances? Are there times of the year where you are willing to engage in substance use and times you are not?

Example: I’m okay with drinking multiple times per week if it’s just casual beers watching a sports game or out at a restaurant with friends. Getting drunk more than 3-4 times per month would be excessive.

Only when safe

What do you define as safe vs. unsafe situations in which to engage in substance use? Are there any proactive measures you will take to enhance safety? How will you help keep others safe?

Example: When engaging in substance use, I will always make sure I am with at least one friend and that they have some idea of what I am consuming.

Example: When in a new or unfamiliar situation (i.e. with people you don’t know, at a bar in an unfamiliar part of town), I will monitor my substance use more closely to ensure I don’t lose control.

What’s your community impact?

While your substance use decisions typically impact you first and foremost, they can also impact your friends, neighbours and community-at-large. How will you ensure you are not negatively impacting those around you? What are you willing to have that impact be?

Example: I love hosting gatherings at my off-campus apartment and I recognize that we can sometimes be loud and bother my neighbours. I’ve chatted with my neighbours and we’ve decided that I will limit these gatherings to once a month and let them know what to expect ahead of time.

Example: I have several friends who rarely drink and seem to get annoyed when we go out together and I get drunk and try to buy them multiple drinks. I value my relationships with them, so I’ll try to find non-substance related activities to do with those friends or limit my drinking to one or two drinks when we’re together.

Example: I’ll smoke cannabis with my friends if I’m out at a party or celebrating an important occasion (birthdays, finished last exam, etc.), but won’t smoke during the week so that I can focus on my classes.

>> Return to the overview of the Substance use topic