Thinking about your night out?
If you are going out drinking over Christmas and New Year you should consider the effect that alcohol can have on your decisions. A little alcohol can make you feel good and increase your confidence but too much can reduce your ability to think clearly and make you take risks you wouldn’t when sober.
Drinking too much can put you at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and unintended pregnancy. Simply because if you have sex when drunk you are less likely to think about using a condom or are less likely to use one properly. You may also have sex with someone you wouldn’t normally consider and regret it the next day.
Drinking can also lead to risks to your safety like getting into a car with someone you don’t know, walking home alone without your friends, getting into a fight or into trouble with the police.
To have a fun Christmas that you remember for all the right reasons follow our tips for a safe night out.
Carry a condom
If you are planning a night out, and you think you might be going to have sex, make sure you carry a condom. Condoms are the best way to protect against STI’s and pregnancy. Check the expiry date and make sure they have a British Standards Institute (BSI) kitemark or the European (CE) mark, which means they’ve been tried and tested. You can get them free from lots of services listed on this site.
Keep a track of how much for are drinking
For men, the recommended guideline is no more than four units of alcohol on any day (that’s two pints of beer or four single shots of vodka or other spirits). For women, the limit is lower – no more than three units (that’s a single large glass of wine). Drinking twice as much as these limits or more is called a binge and is likely to cause problems.
Make decisions when sober
If you are going out partying with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or you meet someone new, talk about and decide what your boundaries are before you start drinking. You don’t want to be pushed into anything you may regret the next day.
Eat before you go out
Have some food with your drinks as this tends to slow the rate of absorption of alcohol into your blood stream which will mean you won’t get as drunk so quickly.
This is one of the most important tips and will help to prevent that hangover in the morning. Try and space your alcoholic drinks with soft drinks to help you keep a clear head and stop you getting dehydrated.
Look after your mates
If you are going out and know that you are going to be drinking, make sure you and your friends agree to stay together, watch out for each other’s drinks and get home safe.
Plan how to get home
Decide how you are going to get home before you go out and make sure you put some money aside. Don’t accept a lift from someone you don’t know, or get into an unlicensed cab, as this could increase the chance of sexual assault.
Know who you will call if you need help
Every now and then things will go wrong, and you need to know who you can call for help if you need it. It can sometimes be scary to call a parent or carer and admit you are drunk and ask for help, but even if they are cross to begin with they will always want to make sure you are safe.
Don’t forget to keep your mobile phone topped up so you always have credit.