Whether you're clubbing regularly, or just going to a pub with friends, nights out can be a big part of student life. When you go out, there are a few things you should think about so you can make the most of your nights out at university and stay safe, especially if alcohol's involved.
Where you're going and who you'll meet are probably your top thoughts when you're getting ready. But there are couple things you should do before you're out the door so you're set to have a good night:
It might seem obvious, but sticking with your mates in a packed bar can be trickier than it looks. Here's some advice to help you and your friends stay connected:
A few drinks will affect your decision-making and perception skills. What you want may not be what someone else wants.
Everyone deserves to have their boundaries respected, and there are some simple rules to live by:
How you get home might be one of the last things you think about when planning a night out. It's good to plan your journey home, or have a couple of options in mind depending on where the night takes you.
If you've met someone on your night out, think about the risks of inviting them back to your place or staying at theirs. Make sure you're confident that you'll be safe and have a way of getting home afterwards.
Getting a cab or bus home is safer than walking, so make sure you have money to get home. Never accept a lift from a stranger.
We wouldn't recommend getting home on foot, even if it's only a short distance. But if you're set on walking home there are steps you can take to make sure you arrive safely:
If you think you're being followed, cross the road and see if you're still followed. Try and stop at a busy area like a petrol station, pub or takeaway, and phone the police on 999. If you would like to speak with anyone about any of the above, or staying safe in general, during office hours please contact Student Services or the Student Union.
If you are drinking alcohol, having a couple drinks throughout the night isn't a worry. But overdoing it on the beers or having several shots isn't safe.
Here are a few tips when it comes to drinking safely:
Drink spiking is where something is added to your drink, usually either alcohol or drugs, without your knowledge. This is usually done to make the victim more vulnerable to things including theft, sexual assault or it can be seen as an attempted joke. There is unfortunately a risk of drink spiking when you're out. So always keep your eye on your drink and don't leave it unattended. If you need to go to the loo/toilet, ask your friends to watch your drink.
There are increased reports of people being injected with drugs, via needles, without their knowledge or consent. It’s believed that the same drugs are being used, as those used in drink spiking, as the symptoms are very similar.
It’s very serious and it is illegal to spike someone’s drink or inject them without their knowledge. The maximum sentence for someone found guilty of drink spiking is 10 years in prison. Victims of drink and needle spiking are not at fault and the responsibility for it, lies solely with the perpetrators.
The effects of drink spiking and spiking by injection vary depending on what you’ve been spiked with. Symptoms could include:
If you or your friends are showing any symptoms of drink spiking or spiking by injection, there are a few things you can do:
If you would like to speak with anyone about any of the above, or staying safe in general, during office hours please contact Student Services or the Student Union.