The following strategies are provided as a guide only. You are encouraged to consider and implement strategies that most suit your needs and your lifestyle. In all situations, if you feel your safety is being threatened, call triple zero (000).
To preserve your safety in the social scene, consider the following options:
Consuming alcohol and other drugs (including illicit drugs and medications) will lessen your judgement, reflexes and awareness of your surroundings. Being around people who are consuming alcohol or drugs also poses a heightened safety threat.
If you are going to be drinking alcohol or are with friends who are, consider the following:
- plan how to get home safely. If you plan to drive, don’t drink
- plan ahead and determine how many drinks you will have and stick to the plan. Don’t drink to a level where you are no longer in control
- eat before and during drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream (avoid salty foods)
- alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- avoid shouts — drink at your own pace
- avoid mixing drinks
- avoid top-ups. Finish each drink before you have another
- get involved in other activities, e.g. dancing or playing pool
- avoid mixing alcohol and drugs (whether they are prescription or non-prescription)
- don’t leave the venue with people you don’t know or trust – stay with and look after your friends
- avoid situations that may lead to confrontation or conflict.
Drink spiking is when alcohol or another substance is added to someone’s drink without them knowing, often leaving them seriously vulnerable to abuse within a very short period of time.
Tips you might consider to minimise the risks of drink spiking:
- take your own drinks to parties
- avoid leaving drinks unattended
- only accept drinks from trusted people
- watch your drink being poured
- don’t accept an open container of drink from anyone
- if you feel very drunk in a disproportionate amount of time to the amount of drinks that you have consumed, immediately tell a friend or someone in authority.
- calmly, clearly and directly tell your admirer that you do not want to talk to them and to leave you alone
If this doesn’t work, consider:
- moving to another area or join a group of people
- drawing attention to your admirers unwanted behaviour by telling them in an overly-loud voice to leave you alone and that you are not interested in them. Ensure you speak loudly enough for everyone around you to hear
- bringing their behaviour to the attention of a friend or someone in authority, e.g. a bar manager or security person, to gain assistance in stopping the unwanted behaviour.
Alcohol, drugs and emotions don’t always mix well. If you are involved in, or witness to, a situation that may result in a physical confrontation, there are a number of options available to attempt to prevent, or stop, such an incident.
Response options may include:
- involving the conflicting parties in other activities.
- placing physical distance between the parties involved to allow the situation to ‘cool down’
- speaking calmly and rationally to each person involved to try and calm the situation (only if you feel comfortable and safe doing so)
- creating the impression that someone in authority is coming, e.g. "Here comes security/the police"
- informing someone in authority of the situation to gain assistance e.g. security, management, police
- directly intervening if you feel comfortable and safe doing so.