Back to school is a great time for partying with friends. It’s also a great time for a safety reminder. The following tips on How to Party Safely have been posted on this blog in April of 2010. These tips are for anyone at any age, and can’t be repeated enough.
When going out to a party, club or bar, make a plan and stick to it. If for some reason things change during the night, have a back up plan.
PLAN A: There is usually safety in numbers, so go with a group of friends you trust, stay together and leave together. Don’t leave or let your girlfriends leave with a stranger. Be sure you have a designated driver. If you decide to stay out later, leave earlier or realize your designated driver has been drinking, go to PLAN B: call someone you trust to come get you or call a taxi. Always take a charged cell phone with you and money for cab fare.
PLAN A: Don’t share personal information (phone numbers, business cards) with strangers. If you really like the guy and want to talk again, go to PLAN B: Get his number instead.
PLAN A: Stay with friends and make sure they stay with you. Don’t wander off alone even if you need to find a quiet place to make a phone call. Buddy up when going to the restroom. If you get separated from your friends and a stranger starts bothering you, go to PLAN B: find help from someone you trust or an employee at the bar. If you can’t get away or he refuses to stop harassing you, implement PLAN C:
PLAN A: Know how much you’re going to drink before going out. If you are going through your drinks faster than you anticipated, try PLAN B: Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. No one needs to know your second and fourth vodka and tonics are only tonics. Or that you filled up your beer bottle with water.
PLAN A: Drink only from bottles or cans you have opened or have watched the bartender pour. Don’t accept drinks that are in punch bowls or other open containers. Never accept drinks from strangers or people you don’t absolutely trust with your life. If you didn’t see what went into your glass, assume anything can be in it. Your nonalcoholic drink could be spiked with alcohol. Your alcoholic drink could be laced with drugs. And consider this, even if it isn’t drugged, the guy buying you a drink may think you now owe him something in return.
PLAN B: Get help immediately from someone you trust with your life if…
- Your drink tastes bitter, is unusually salty, has a strange color, odor or has foam or residue on the surface. Makers of Rohypnol (“roofies”) changed the formula so when dissolved in liquid, the pill produces a blueish-green dye. Clear drinks turn blue, beer turns green and dark drinks turn murky. BE AWARE however, that many date rape drugs are colorless, odorless, tasteless and can dissolve quickly in liquid.
- You begin to feel usually drunk for the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed
- You feel dizzy, nauseous, drowsy, “out of it,” or hallucinate
- Your girlfriend acts in the above manner. (Remember you’ve already made a buddy plan to watch out for each other!)
You or she may have been drugged and may only be alert for a moment longer.
PLAN A: Don’t leave your drink unattended. If you leave to go to the restroom, the dance floor or to make a phone call, then (PLAN B) throw out that drink when you return. You can always buy yourself another one.
Party Smart and Stay Safe!