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Party Smart Tips

Regardless of your alcohol or recreation drug use intentions, consider these tips for your night out or in.

Pre-gaming

  • 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.

Soft Drinks

  • 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.

Last Call

  • 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!”

Reduce your risk of sexual assault

  • Communicate: 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.
  • Be Open and Clear: Don’t assume that your date can read your mind—and don’t assume you can read your date’s mind, either. Be clear about what you want and what you don’t want. If you are unsure about what your date wants, stop and ask.
  • Trust Your Gut: If you feel uncomfortable, leave. Your safety is more important than someone’s hurt feelings.
  • Know Your Limits: Alcohol is the number one date rape drug—in most sexual assaults, one or both partners have been drinking. Alcohol and other drugs can impair your ability to make sound sexual decisions, and you can’t give consent when intoxicated.
  • Awareness: Date rape drugs can be easily slipped into drinks at bars (and anywhere else for that matter). Always watch your drink being prepared, and never accept a drink from someone unless it comes directly from the wait staff or bartender.
  • Strength in Numbers: Avoid secluded places—stick with a group of friends on a first or blind date.
  • Be Prepared: 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 leave.
  • Trust Your Instincts: If you feel you might be in danger, trust your instincts and call for help. Be specific. Scream: “This is an attack! Call 911!”

Are you a party animal?

If you are, you don’t need a road map to the coolest places for partying in the ‘hood. You probably know the best places for hooking up too. But do you know how to make sure that your nights out always end as well as they begin?

Rape and assault can happen to anyone. And guys, don’t think that you’re immune, because these things can also happen to you. You can be assaulted by someone you know or by a total stranger. You can be assaulted or raped by a date. And that really nice person you just met at the bar, well heads up, because that person could have nasty “plans” for you.

Most of the people you meet here at college won’t be out to get you. But since you’re going to be out and about, there are things you can do to minimize your risk of sexual assault. Check them out.

12 tips for partying smart

1. Stick with your friends.

2. Make a plan before you go out. Set up checkpoints or code words to make it easy for you and your friends to stay connected.

3. Hold on to your drink—even when you go to the bathroom.

4. If your drink is out of your sight, even for a few seconds, get a new one. Spiking a drink with a date rape drug is easier than you think.

5. Don’t accept a drink from anyone—unless you can watch the bartender pour it.

6. Don’t share drinks.

7. Don’t drink from punch bowls or open containers.

8. Don’t drink anything that tastes strange.

9. Don’t be taken in by parties that charge men but let women enter and drink free. It’s a come on for trouble, for sure.

10. Always keep your cell phone charged and on you. You never know when you’ll need it.

11. Make sure you always have a ride home.

12. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right to you, leave and get to a safe place fast.

10 tips for dating smart

1. Know your limits—and let your date know them right from the start.

2. Be clear about what’s okay for you. Don’t expect your date to read your mind.

3. Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.

4. Don’t get in over your head. If someone pushes you to do something you don’t want to do, leave.

5. Watch your drinks. Alcohol is the number one date rape drug. In fact, alcohol is involved in 75 percent of all the sexual assaults reported.

6. Tell a friend where you are going, especially if you are going out on a first date or a blind date.

7. Avoid secluded places until you know your date better.

8. Don’t forget your cell phone.

9. Always carry enough money to take a taxi home.

10. Pay attention to what you hear. Bad reps aren’t always legit, but they are worth checking out.

Resources:

College Drinking—Changing the Culture
Phoenix House: Facts on Tap

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