You’ve got your outfit sorted, the group chat is going off and you’re ready to party. Taking the time to do a bit of planning before you head out the door can make all the difference in how the night goes. Partying safely means that you’re less likely to get into trouble, and more likely to just have a good time.
What could go wrong?
When you’re about to hit up a party, your safety may not be front of mind.
Parties that involve alcohol, drugs and late nights (as many do) make risky behaviour more likely. If you’re aware of what could go wrong, you’re more likely to know how to avoid having anything bad happen. Some common risks at parties include:
- people wanting to drive after they’ve been drinking
- people becoming aggressive or violent when drunk or on drugs
- drink spiking (this can mean putting extra alcohol in someone’s drink, or giving them drugs without them knowing)
- unsafe or non-consensual sex
- drug overdose or alcohol poisoning.
Plan your transport
There’s nothing worse at the end of a big night than not knowing how you’re going to get home. Put some money aside for a taxi or Uber, or make sure that someone who won’t be drinking or taking drugs is the designated driver.
Look out for your mates
Agree with a friend at the start of the night that you’ll check in with each other during the party to see how you’re both going. If you look out for each other, neither of you will fall behind.
Space your drinks
If you’re planning to drink, check out our article on how to drink but not get drunk, so you can stay on top of it. Order your own drinks and don’t leave them unattended while you hit the dance floor. Fully enjoy each drink you have rather than gulping it down, and make sure you eat something.
Take protection with you
If there’s even a small chance you might have sex with someone, have the right protection with you (such as a condom or dental dam). Check out our guide for safe sex for more info.
Be drug aware
Remember that there is no safe level of use of illegal drugs. You can never be sure of what’s in a drug and how strong it is, or of the effect it’s going to have on you.
The safest choice is to not take drugs. However, if you choose to use, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of harm:
- Tell someone what you've taken, so they can get the right help for you if anything goes wrong.
- If you've been given the drugs by someone else, always ask exactly what's in them. Avoid situations where you don't know what you're taking.
- Avoid using drugs alone or in an isolated environment.
- Avoid mixing depressant drugs (alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, heroin).
- If you can't feel the effect, don't take more. The drug may take time to have an effect and you may end up taking too much.
- Don't inject drugs, and never share injecting equipment.
- Take a break from use.
- Let someone know if you start to feel unwell (mentally or physically).
- Look after your mates. If they look like they're getting into trouble, seek help. The police won't be involved if you've sought medical assistance.
- If you get into difficulty yourself, let the ambulance or first aid responders know what you've taken.