It’s that time of the year when we have a good time! That time of the year where all roads lead to the next big party. By all means, have fun. It’s been a tough year!
Maybe you are celebrating your Leaver’s Bash. Or it is your birthday month. It’s also the Christmas season. Your anniversary. Wedding. etc.
It doesn’t matter which session you are celebrating, it’s time to party like it’s 1999.
If you’re going partying, plan ahead. Parties give people a chance to get together, socialize and have fun. Often, alcohol and other drugs come into the mix, risky behavior becomes more likely. It’s easier to make smart decisions before you’re in the thick of things, so make some decisions before you go.
Important things to consider:
- Tell someone: Let your parents or a trusted adult know where you are going and where you will be at certain periods
- Arrange to stay close to friends you trust. Look out for your friends and ask them to do the same for you. There’s power and safety in numbers. Be choosy and only go to a party with friends who you know make responsible decisions.
- Plan your return back home. Have some money set aside for a taxi, or arrange for someone to come pick you up. Do not get into a vehicle with a drunk driver. If you feel like it’s time to leave, do not be afraid of standing your ground and walking away. You only have one life to live. Guard it at all costs.
- Eat well. A full stomach slows down alcohol absorption. When you decide to take alcohol, don’t be in a rush. Take it in moderation. Stick to your limits. Alcohol will be there tomorrow and the day after.
- Always carry condoms. It’s important to have safe sex.
- The best way to avoid drug-related problems is to be mindful of what you put inside your body. Say ‘No’ to your friends if you are not comfortable ingesting things at the party.
- Do not walk around in town carrying and drinking alcohol. That is illegal and could get you arrested.
- Don’t let others top up your drinks, and go for low alcohol options wherever possible. Occupy your hands with soft drinks or water once you’ve reached your limit, so you’re not tempted to keep buying alcoholic drinks. Avoid the temptation of getting into drinking games especially if you’ve reached your limit. Alcohol impairs judgment.
- Don’t take your eyes off your drink. You never know who is preying on you or your friends. Don’t leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from people you are not comfortable with. If you see things that make you uncomfortable, it’s okay to leave, even if your friends aren’t ready.
- Keep a cool head. Do not let peer pressure lead you into doing things you are not comfortable with.
- It’s okay to say No. Whether to drugs or friends.
- Alcohol gives you ‘liquid courage’. It makes you think you can do things you would normally think twice about doing. Always keep a sober head, and learn your limits. Do not jump into the swimming pool if you do not know how to swim
Remember: you do not have to use alcohol or drugs to have fun.
Remember there is life after the party and it is better to stay alive and take care of yourself. As you grow older you enjoy more freedom but you learn that that freedom tends to come with responsibility.
What other safety tips can you give to your peers?