Planning for a night out or a party at home
This section gives you some tips on how to make sure you have a good time when you’re heading out. Planning ahead, including thinking about how you will respond if you or someone else runs into trouble, will help you to reduce the risk of anyone coming to harm if things don't go as planned.
Before your night out, festival or event have a checklist
- Get a good night’s sleep or have a sneaky afternoon nap.
- Eat and hydrate well.
- Dress to match the weather conditions and dress code.
- Carry photo ID, remember most places need to scan your ID or match it to your ticket, or you won’t be able to get in.
- Extra money for things like coat check, taxi, ride share or public transport.
- Charge your phone and get credit (if you’re not on a plan) or top up your data if you’ve run out, so you can find your friends, use maps & apps and order a ride home.
- Take condoms, just in case you decide to have sex or help out a mate if they forgot to pack some.
- Plan your trip - know where you’re going, and how to get there.
- Plan how you’ll get home - public transport, ride share or get picked-up by parents, sibling or friends.
- Let someone know what time you expect to be back.
- Plan how many drinks you might have and only take enough money for the plan. When you take a lot of money or your card, you might spend more than you planned.
When you are out
Some things to consider:
- You can have a good time without drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
- Trust your own judgement or gut instinct. If a situation doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
- Stay close to friends you trust, and remember ‘mates look after mates’, keep an eye out for each other.
- If you are faced with a situation that could possibly get violent, walk away.
- When entering and exiting a venue or event, take note of conditions of entry e.g. lock out times, pass outs and excessive queues, as you may not be able to get back in.
- Remember to stay hydrated by drinking 500-600ml (2 cups) of water over each hour, when you’re active. If the venue or event is licensed, they are required by law to provide you with free drinking water.
- Take regular breaks from dancing to chill out and cool down.
- The stimulant effects of amphetamines or caffeine (like in energy drinks), can mask the depressant effect of alcohol and can make you feel less drunk than you are and can increase the risk of overdose and you may take more risks.
- To avoid drink spiking, watch your drinks being poured if possible, don’t leave your drink unattended and don’t accept drinks from a stranger. The most common form of drink spiking is alcohol. If a friend appears to have been drink-spiked don’t leave them alone. Assist them to get medical attention.
- Think about what you post on social media… what is safe, legal and not crossing the line. Posting pictures of people who are unconscious or containing nudity without their permission is not ok.
- Seek help immediately if you are worried about yourself or someone else. Remember that every second counts, so react fast and head to first aid for help if at a festival or call an ambulance on triple zero 000.
- Never get in a car if the driver has been drinking or taking drugs.
- Accepting a lift from a stranger, including someone you have just met, can be unsafe. If you do plan on getting a lift with someone you have just met, tell a friend and give them the details.
- If you have driven your own car and end up drinking or taking drugs leave your car where it is and find a safe way home with friends, in a taxi, ride share or on public transport.
- If you get stuck, consider calling a sober friend or parent. They may be annoyed, but they will be happier to know you get home safely.
- If your phone is about to run out of battery, let someone know what time to expect you home.
Planning a party
If you are hosting or attending a gathering with friends or family at someone's house, here are some things to think about that can help reduce the chance of things going wrong:
- Consider registering your party with local Police, particularly if you are expecting a high number of guests. It is polite to inform your neighbours.
- Ensure it’s clear on the invitation that your party is ‘invitation only’ to reduce the chance of ‘gate crashers’ showing up. Ask your guests not to spread the word to others via text or social media. If uninvited guests appear, ask them to leave immediately and call Police if necessary.
- Other ways to help reduce the risk of gate crashers include keeping the gathering small, locating the party away from high traffic areas, having a guest list that you check off when people arrive, having one entrance to the party and locking other entrances and consider hiring crowd controllers.
- Provide activities that can keep people entertained and take the focus off drinking e.g. pool table, dance floor, tale tennis, karaoke, online gaming and virtual reality.
- Respect and support people’s decisions not to drink or take drugs, or to drink within the guidelines.
- Be vigilant if you have a swimming pool, and ensure gates are functional.
- Serve plenty of healthy food and water throughout the entire duration of the party and make sure people know it's there.
- If you are providing alcohol, ensure there are non-alcoholic and low-alcohol options available as well.
- Do not provide alcohol to anyone under 18 years of age. It is against the law to provide under 18s with alcohol without their parents’ consent.
- Where possible, serve drinks in plastic or paper cups rather than glass to avoid breakages and potential injury.
- If you are confronted with a situation that could possibly escalate to violence, try to calm the guests down, and separate them if possible. Call Police if violence erupts or you feel the situation is beyond your control.
- Consider your neighbours, and turn the music down at an appropriate time.
- Ensure your guests get home safely. Encourage them to stay overnight if they appear to be intoxicated, or order them a taxi or ride share.
- It is a good idea if either the host or someone else attending the party has a current First Aid certificate.
- If waiting for medical assistance, stay with the person at all times. If someone is intoxicated and has become unconscious, put them in the recovery position to help them avoid choking on vomit or cutting off their airway.
- If someone is heavily intoxicated and goes to bed, ask the person not to lock the bedroom door, so you can check in on them.
- Check and monitor someone regularly if they have ‘passed out’.
- Seek help immediately if you are worried about yourself or someone else. Remember that every second counts, so react fast and call an ambulance. Police will not attend unless ambulance officers are threatened or there is a death.
- If someone stops breathing, commence Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and continue until medical help arrives.
Looking for info about the effects of a specific drug?
Check out the Drug Types page here.