Whether you’re going clubbing or just having a couple drinks at your local bar, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that you can face on a night out. A fun night can easily become one of the worst nights of your life if you don’t take precautions. Below are a few ways to stay safe on a night out.
Watch what you drink/what drugs you take
Being heavily intoxicated puts you at a lot more risk of danger. It’s important to know your limits and not get yourself into a state where you can’t look after yourself. You don’t want to end up in hospital because of a drunken accident. Similarly, you don’t want to risk being taken advantage of by people while heavily intoxicated.
Avoid drinking heavily on an empty stomach as this will increase the likelihood of being sick. Similarly, be careful of drinking if you’ve taken certain types of medication that could be negatively affected by alcohol (ask your doctor if you’re not sure).
Only accept drinks if you know what is in them and watch your drink. Spiking is a big problem – this is when someone puts a drug in your drink. This may be done to take advantage of you or simply for a person’s amusement. In either case, it can be very dangerous. By keeping an eye on your drink, you can make sure no-one slips anything in.
Taking drugs is a lot more risky. On top of the high of the drug, you should worry about what’s in your drug. Certain drugs like cocaine and weed can be cut with foreign substances ranging from herbs to laundry detergent. These dangerous cutting agents are a common cause of fatal overdoses. A drug purity testing kit could be worth investing in to make sure that you’re not about to ingest something dangerous. Try not to mix drugs or take drugs with alcohol.
Stick with company you trust
You’re more likely to get in trouble while alone. Staying close to other people you trust can minimize the risk of something bad happening.
Firstly, if you drink too much, you can be sure that you’ll be looked after. You don’t want to end up stumbling home and getting lost or passing out.
Sticking with friends can also stop you being targeted by predators. Plan to go out as a group and come home as a group. If friends have a tendency of abandoning you on a night out, consider whether you really want to go out with these people. Similarly make sure that you’re watching out for other people in your group (especially those who have a tendency to drink too much).
Protect your valuables
A lot of people end up losing valuables on a night out. This could be due to forgetfulness or it could be due to having items stolen.
To avoid items getting stolen, make sure that you’re keeping an eye on them (don’t leave a handbag or jacket unattended on a table if it has valuables in it). Try not to bring too much out with you. Keep your most valuable possessions in your pockets if you have them or consider attaching them to a chain.
A lot of nightclubs will have cloakrooms where you can put jackets and bags. It’s worth paying to use these cloakrooms – your possessions will be guarded by staff and you won’t have to remember to take them everywhere with you.
Plan your journey home in advance
Don’t go out without planning your journey home. If you’re going somewhere new, make sure to look up the best route home. If you’re taking trains or buses, make sure to look up times in advance.
As already mentioned, it’s best to go back with friends. It could be worth planning to sleep around a friend’s house so that you can all walk back the same route or take the same public transport together.
If you do end up walking back home alone, try to stick to well-lit busy streets where you’re less likely to be targeted by someone. Resist taking a shortcut through an alley or park – especially if you know it’s the type of place dodgy characters hang out.
Planning to get a lift from someone or booking a taxi in advance (from a company you trust) are the safest options when planning your journey home. If you’re not planning to drink, you may be able to take your own car to prevent you from having to walk back (just make sure you stick to your no drinking rule and aren’t tempted to drive back intoxicated).
Learn some self defence
Fights can often break out on a night out and you could find yourself involved. If you’re walking home alone, there’s also a risk of predators attacking you. Knowing some self-defence could help you in the event of these situations.
You could try a self defence system like Krav Maga or you could take up a martial art to learn some self defence. There are also one-off classes and seminars aimed at women that teach specialised self-defence. Consider whether these are worth looking into for peace of mind.
Download some personal safety apps
You may be able to improve your safety on a night out by downloading a few apps.
There are a few apps that allow you to share your location with friends or relatives. This could allow a trusted person to monitor you to check that you are somewhere safe. If your phone is stolen, other people can also track it.
There are also apps that allow you to send out a text alert to contacts such as friends or relatives along with a GPS coordinates of your location. If you’re being stalked or find yourself in a dangerous situation, this can be a useful way to alert people that you need help.
Other apps can help alert you of high crime areas if you’re travelling through somewhere by foot that you’ve never been before. This could allow you to plan a safe route back home if you’re somewhere unfamiliar.