Party Smart Tips
Regardless of your alcohol or recreation drug use intentions, consider these tips for your night out or in:
- Stick with your friends and avoid secluded places. (Remember the cliché: “There’s strength in numbers.”) Your friends can be your best bet for staying out of trouble…
- Always have a plan before you go out, whether you’re going with friends or on a first date with someone else.
- When going out partying or on a date, always bring a charged cell phone and enough money for a taxi home if you need to bail.
- Don’t go out with people who make you feel uncomfortable if you’re not drinking.
- Eat something before and while you are drinking. This helps avoid a dramatic spike in blood alcohol level.
- Spread drinking out over time.
- Avoid drinking while fatigued.
- Drink lots of water throughout the night to reduce the likelihood of a hangover.
- Make sure you know the school’s policies about drinking and doing drugs. Know the state and local laws, too.
Mixed Drinks and Mixed Signals
- Avoid caffeine and energy drinks. These types of drinks mask effects of alcohol, and you may drink more than you would otherwise.
- Avoid carbonated alcoholic drinks (e.g., rum and Coke). Carbonation will speed up the absorption rate of alcohol into the bloodstream and raise your blood alcohol level at a faster rate than normal.
- Don’t mix alcohol and other drugs. This may result in unexpected and unwanted effects.
- Don’t assume that your date can read your mind. Be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. If you are unsure about what your partner wants, stop and ask.
- Be wary of club promotions or parties that charge men but admit women free and let them drink for free. Alcohol generally affects women more quickly than it does men, and an intoxicated person may be targeted for sexual assault.
- Alternate between drinks with and without alcohol.
* Consider having an alcohol-free drink. If necessary, you can always pretend your Coke is a rum and Coke.
- Designate yourself as the “sober buddy.” (The one who makes sure everyone gets home safely.)
Can I Buy You a Drink?
- Keep your eye on your drink (even bring it to the restroom). An unattended drink may have a substance dropped into it without your knowledge.
- If need be, bring your drink with you to the restroom, and conveniently and discreetly pour out some or all of it in the sink or toilet.
- Know your sexual intentions and communicate your limits firmly. The sooner you communicate your position on sex, the easier it will be for your partner to hear and accept your decision.
- Remember alcohol and other drugs can impair your ability to make sound sexual decisions.
- Just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful. Men can be attacked too.
What’s the Tab?
- Make sure you count your drinks according to standard drink sizes (one drink = 1.5 ounces; one shot = 1.5 ounces; one liquor shot with mixer = 5 ounces of wine = 12 ounces of beer).
- Avoid turning to alcohol in an attempt to reduce stress, to feel more comfortable or to escape problems. Try to find alternative activities that will reduce stress.
- Record how much you spend on drinking. The average student spends $900 per year on alcohol. Maybe you would like to redirect some of that money.
- Of course, it’s never a great idea to leave a bar or party with someone you’ve just met. As nice as he or she may seem, you never really know for sure—especially if you’ve been drinking and your judgment is impaired.
- Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t. Get the heck out of there—and don’t look back.
- Need a ride home? If you drank and brought a car, leave it and call a cab or catch a ride from a friend. Or, you can wait it out or ask a sober friend to drive you and your car home. Don’t drink and drive and don’t get into a car with someone who is drunk or high. There are numerous options to get you home safely if you step back think about it.
- And, most importantly, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it’s probably not. Take steps to ensure your safety. Don’t’ be afraid to call for help. Be specific and scream, “This is an attack! Call 911!”
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