Before you go:
- Decide what you need to take, and leave everything else behind.Don’t take lots of credit cards and only take the money you expect to spend.
- Keep everything you need to take in a safe place – don’t carry your mobile or wallet loose.
- If you’re meeting friends at a club later, tell them where you’re going first and what time you expect to meet up with them.
- Save the number of a reputable taxi service on your mobile, or keep their card or number written down in your wallet and know how much it’ll cost to get back home.
- Before going out, plan how you are to get home (which may include the use of cabs, not accepting a lift with someone who has been drinking and letting others know when you are leaving, what time you will get home and a text message that all is OK when you arrive home).
At the venue:
- Remember that alcohol and drugs can make you lose control. Watch the number of drinks you have – know your limit.
- Try not to leave your glass unattended, this will prevent your drink being spiked. When drinking out of a bottle, keep it always in sight.
- Your body can’t handle too many different chemicals and could react badly to mixing different types of alcohol or drugs.
- Clubs provide water and chill-out areas – use them. When drinking alcohol your body gets dehydrated and needs water to help wash out the toxins. It’s a good idea to drink water, a little and often.
- It is a criminal offence to possess or use ecstasy (E or MDMA). If you have taken E, make sure you drink cola or orange juice as well as water. Avoid diet drinks, as some artificial sweeteners react badly with MDMA.
Leaving the venue:
- Don’t accept a lift from anyone you don’t know or if you know he or she has been drinking.
- It’s best to either phone for a taxi and meet in a busy populated area, or go to the nearest taxi rank. Trying to hail a taxi is far riskier.
- All taxis, including those that you pre-book, have to be registered. They display their registration number on the inside and outside of the cab. If you take an unregistered taxi you are getting into the car of someone who hasn’t been vetted and you have no way of being able to identify them. It’s safer to go with a licensed taxi.
- When you’ve got home safely, send a text message or call one of your friends to let them know you’re OK.
- Never hitchhike, whether alone or with a friend.
- People always feel more confident when they are part of a group and after they’ve had a few drinks. This can often lead to a false sense of security and aggression or conflict among people who otherwise are perfectly harmless.
- If you are hassled or feel threatened by someone, then it’s often best just to move rather than attempt to argue. Move as far away as you can: stay near the bar or security staff. There is no shame in retreating from a possible violent situation.
- Practice saying ‘NO’ assertively. Don’t involve anyone else: ‘I’ve got a cold coming on. I feel awful. I want to go home as soon as possible’.
- If a friend looks like they might be about to get into a fight, attempt to talk them out of it. Ignore the other party or their friends and simply concentrate on reasoning with your mate. Stand behind or to one side of them; never get between the two parties. Again, there is no shame in walking away from circumstances where you, your friend or others may be hurt, seriously injured or worse.
- Don’t argue with the security staff – they may ask you to leave at the first sign of trouble. Crowd controllers have to be registered. If there is an issue then take their controller’s number then later you can take up the issue with the venue management. It’s much better to accept what they say and either leave or just calm down.