Tips to ensure you remain safe while enjoying your staff Christmas party or socialising at a bar or nightclub during the Christmas festive season.

In News by Elton Rangi

Staff Christmas parties or socialising at bars and nightclubs during the festive season give people a chance to get together, socialise and have fun. Where alcohol and other drugs come into the mix, risky behaviour becomes more likely. This means things like:

 Drinking too much alcohol (sometimes called binge drinking)
 Consumption of illegal substances (drugs)
 Wanting to drive after drinking
 Embarrassing oneself

Plan ahead to party safely

If you’re going partying, plan ahead. It’s easier to make smart decisions beforehand, so make some decisions before you go.

 Arrange to stay close to friends you trust. Ask your friends to look out for you, and let them know you will do the same for them.

 Work out how you’re going to get home – ensure you have the ability to access your mobile phone and your Uber, Ola app, so you can order a driver to collect you from your location. If you are having difficulty, ask a friend, work colleague or a security person to help you order an Uber or Ola ride.

 Alternatively, have some money for a taxi, arrange for someone to pick you up, or make sure that someone is the designated driver, and that they won’t be drinking or taking drugs.

 Have a plan B to get home if plan A falls through – for example, ask a friend or friends if you could ride share an Uber with them or get a work colleague to drop you off at home.

 Eat well before you leave home. A full stomach slows the absorption of alcohol.

 If you are going to drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Decide on your limit and stick to it.

 The best way to avoid drug-related problems is not to use at all. If you do plan to take drugs, make sure you know what you’re taking, and let someone else know too, in case anything goes wrong. Find out how to reduce the risks of overdose or injury.

 Be aware that in some public areas, it is illegal to drink alcohol on the street or in a public place or to carry or use illicit drugs. Even if you’re not actively drinking, if you’re seen with alcohol in hand or drunk in public you can get fined or arrested.

Safe partying tips

While you’re out:

Don’t let others top up your drinks, and go for low alcohol options wherever possible. Occupy your hands with soft drink or water once you’ve reached your limit, so you’re not tempted to keep buying alcoholic drinks. Avoid ‘shouts’ or drinking games. You are more likely to make silly or even dangerous decisions when you have had too much to drink.
To avoid drink spiking, buy your own drinks and watch the bartender make or open them. Don’t take your eyes off your drink. Keep it with you, or get a new one if you have to leave it unattended. Don’t accept drinks from other people unless you accept it from the bartender yourself.

 Never mix drugs with alcohol or other drugs.
 Don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.
 Don’t let peer pressure sway you into doing anything you don’t want to do. It’s okay to say no.
 Leave for somewhere safe if you feel unsafe at a venue or party.
 Don’t take risks you may regret afterwards i.e. injury or an embarrassing situation.

Being aware of your environment and what’s going on around you, will give you an awareness of where you are at, to make decisions at any given time in relation to the situation at hand and your safety.