Going out safety
Saturday night is looming and all you can think about is how much fun you will have. But make sure the night is one with a happy ending.
Unfortunately, confronting violent situations is a harsh reality for late nighters. Sticking with your friends and avoiding danger spots are just two considerations when thinking about going home in one piece.
Before you go out, consider your arrangements for the end of the night. For example, where are you staying, and how will you get there? It might also be worthwhile to put money aside for a cab, or arrange for you or a friend in your group to stay sober and drive home.
Alcohol can either be the main focus of a night out, or just a cheerful accompaniment to other entertainment. Either way, it's best to have an idea of your own alcohol tolerance so that if you're going to get completely wasted you can make sure it's at least in a safe environment. Also, if you're really drunk you may not be aware if your drink has been spiked, which could leave you vulnerable to dangerous situations. Finally, if you have regular nights on the lash, give yourself some time off from alcohol every once in a while to help your body recover.
If you're going to take drugs on a night out, don't forget that the environment you're in can make all the difference - a trip in your lounge is bound to be totally different to one in a club, after all. Do your homework on the effects of different drugs, so you know what to expect. If your mates dabble on a night out, get to know a spot of drugs first aid beforehand - you never know, you might make all the difference if it suddenly goes horribly pear-shaped for them.
Social occasions often open up opportunities for long-term developments in your love life, or they can just be the perfect place to meet a really good fling. Either way, sex may be on the agenda and risky situations are easily avoided, especially if you get used to insisting on using condoms. Unfortunately, you may meet people who give you unwelcome sexual attention and there is the risk of sexual assault. If you do encounter an incident then the most important thing to remember is that you will not be alone and there are plenty of organisations offering support.