As we head toward the end of the year, Schoolies celebrations are in full swing and will continue into December. It is an exciting time to get away with friends and relax, but it is also important to be aware of reducing the harms you may encounter, so you can celebrate safely. Knowing about the risks associated with consuming alcohol and drugs can help you make the best decisions for yourself and take care of your friends. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for the week with some activities organised, especially if you are travelling overseas. Read on for some tips on how to prepare for a night out, as well as some precautions you can take to make sure you have the best time possible.
Take care of yourself and your friends
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re out having fun, but it’s also important to look after friends and give them good advice.
- Keep in contact with your friends and share your movements. It is all too easy to lose people when you are out so try to avoid ending up in a situation where you are alone.
- Look out for your friends and make sure they get home safely. If no one is leaving with them, wait with them until they get in a taxi.
- Phones can run out of battery so it’s good to create a plan if you are separated from your friends, such as a meet up spot.
- Keep your belongings on you and don’t rely on others to look after your phone or bag – you don’t want to be left alone without money or the ability to contact others.
- Know the address of your hotel or accommodation so you can get home safely.
- No means no – it’s OK to say no to sex. Pressuring someone else into having sex is sexual assault, and it’s illegal. But do carry condoms in case you decide to have sex.
Reducing the risks of drinking
Having a drink with friends can be a nice way to unwind but it is important to be aware that drinking impacts on your decision-making skills. If you drink too much it can lead to risky behaviours and alcohol poisoning.
- A good way to make sure you enjoy a night out is to be aware of how much you are drinking so you can keep track and know when to stop. If you are making your own drinks, use a shot glass to measure liquor, that way you will know you’re consuming a standard drink.
- Alternating an alcoholic drink with a glass of water is a good tactic to avoid drinking too much too soon, it also keeps you hydrated and can help you avoid an unwanted hangover the next day.
- Try not to consume too much caffeine and avoid energy drinks as combining them with alcohol can lead to drinking too much.
- Avoid activities where accidents can easily occur, such as swimming.
- Remember to use lots of sunscreen as drinking increases your risk of sunburn and heatstroke.
- Don’t risk driving. Even a small amount of alcohol in your system can impair your judgement and lead to deadly accidents. For learner or probationary drivers, you must have a zero blood alcohol concentration. It is also important to be aware that drinking the night before can result in still being over the limit the next day.
Drinks can be easily spiked by people you know as well as strangers, and more commonly drinks are spiked by adding alcohol to a drink rather than drugs. Always keep an eye on your drink, if you lose sight of it then get a new one and buy your own so you know that it hasn’t been tampered with. If you suspect your drink, or a friend’s drink has been spiked call an ambulance immediately by dialling triple zero (000).
Further information for schoolies
Online advice for schoolies
National Schoolies volunteers
Am I old enough? Common legal issues for young people
Good Times Great Breaks
Schoolies information, support and free services.