planning ahead before going out
Planning ahead before going out is the best way to party safely. Ask yourself
‘do I feel like going out?’ If you’re feeling vulnerable, self destructive, sick
or tired, it may be best to stay at home or mellow out at a cafe, rather than
getting toasted and partying. If friends look down or unwell, suggest the same
A good checklist is HALTS -
if you are Hungry, Angry,
Sad or Sick it is best not to use
alcohol or drugs.
Before you go:
A good meal (especially carbohydrates) and some non-alcoholic,
non-caffeinated drinks before leaving home will give you energy reserves and
reduce stomach acidity if you’re going to be drinking alcohol.
A good (no drama) night out is best with trusted friends. Going out as a
group, partying, dancing, supporting each other and chilling through the
comedown together has been the social essence of dance culture from the
beginning (the tripping Lone Ranger is likely to get lost in the desert alone).
Telling each other what drugs – and how much – you’re planning to take is a
sensible precaution. It makes it easier to keep an eye on each other and know
what head-space everyone might be in. Arranging safe transport, meeting times,
and locations with a back-up plan may also be advisable.
- Cool clothes and maybe a jacket for in-between clubs and afterwards.
- Sunglasses for dawn.
- Phone card or cell phone.
- Door key.
- Condoms and lube.
- Put aside $ for cab (leave $ at home to pay for return cab if you
have money management problems).
- A sipper bottle that can be refilled in the bathroom can reduce dehydration.
Before going out, it’s best to get sorted and find out the strength of the
gear. If blasting (injecting), organise your works and use before leaving home.
This is safer, more hygienic, and gives you more time to party. It also avoids
the risk of using suppliers you’re unsure of.
If going to a new club:
Before entering, find the nearest taxi rank and food outlet. When inside,
suss out the layout first (exits, chill room, fans, coat check). Also see if
water is free or if cold water is on in the bathrooms.
If going to a private or underground party:
Take a supply of water (sippers) unless you definitely know some will be
there. Suss out the layout, especially the location of first aid or support
crew. Extra warm clothing may be required. You may need back-up plans i.e. a
meeting place if the party is closed down.
Outdoor dance parties:
Stock up on food and water to drink before you go (not all raves, even indoor
ones, provide water).
Taking warm clothes and waterproof gear is a good scheme to prevent shivering
in sweat or rain-soaked rave gear when you stop dancing.
Arrive early to check the layout e.g. first aid, water, landmarks. Work
out how to find your car/tent. Set up a time and place to check in with your
mates. Take good footwear, sunblock and if necessary a torch.
Going with friends is advisable – freaking out alone on drugs like acid,
miles from anywhere, isn’t fun. Climbing trees or wandering into the forest
whilst off your face has probably created more dramas than ODs ever have.
If you are concerned about your own or someone else's drug use,
CADS now on 09-845 1818 or www.cads.org.nz