With Halloween right around the corner, many of us are looking forward to an amazing weekend filled with creative and crazy costumes! Halloween can be celebrated in many ways, such as, a passing Halloween candy to trick or treaters, watching scary movies, or going to a party. No matter what party you choose to attend, whether it’s a small get-together at someone’s house or a big Halloween bash, if you, or your friends, decide to drink, making a plan before and while you drink can help keep an awesome night from turning into a ghastly one! To make sure that you and your friends have fun and stay safe this Halloween, try following these simple safety tips…
Before Your Night Out
- Plan a way to arrive and get home safely: Your plan can include getting a ride home by a Taxi, Lyft, or Uber driver, spending the night at a nearby friend’s house, or choosing a member of your group to be the designated driver for the night. The RADD rewards program can provide free rewards to the Designated Driver if you visit participating establishments! You can check out collegeisradd.org website for more information of the RADD rewards program. (Just remember, the Designated Driver is a non-drinking person and not the least intoxicated person!)
- Eat food before and during drinking: Eating a meal before drinking can help slow down the absorption of alcohol and help you avoid a spike in your blood alcohol content (BAC).
During the Celebration
- Use the one drink per hour rule: Pacing your drinking is an excellent way to maintain your buzz without over-consuming. It takes your body approximately an hour to absorb and eliminate each standard drink of alcohol. Also, remember that many craft beers, a large glass of wine, or a strong mixed drink are likely more than one standard drink!
- Do not mix alcohol and drugs: The mixing of alcohol and drugs can have adverse and unpredictable effects. There is an increased chance of liver problems, difficulty breathing, confusion, and dizziness. There is even an increase chance of overdose and death in some cases. Your best bet is not to mix and to avoid illegal drugs altogether.
- Safely intervene to prevent sexual assault: There may be an emergency or problematic situation that can be a precursor to sexual violence where you will want to intervene and stop things from happening. There are a variety of ways to intervene. Here are some examples:
- Make up an excuse to get someone out of a potentially dangerous situation, such as asking them to dance or go with you to another party
- If your friend is with someone who is aggressive, pushy, or if your friend is drunk, stay with them!
- Take steps to reduce someone’s use of alcohol before problems occur, such as giving them food or water instead of alcohol
- If a situation arises that is concerning, but you do not feel comfortable dealing with it or do not know what to do, do not hesitate to call the police!
- It is important to remember that men and women can be victims of sexual assault, so it is best to look out for all your friends and intervene or get involved when necessary.
- Know the signs of Alcohol Poisoning: Knowing the signs will help you determine if someone needs the help that could potentially save their life.
- Unconscious or semi-conscious
- Slow respiration (breaths) of eight or less per minute
- Low body temperature
- Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
If you notice any of the signs, it is important to call 911 right away, lay the person on their side, and stay with them until medical services arrive!
by Kashmoné Hamilton, MPH
Health Promotion Department