November 30, 2020

17 tips for safer partying

As we gear up  for the Summer holiday season, it’s likely our communities will be partying in socially-distant ways, across a huge number of venues, homes, and outdoor spaces. Here are some tips to stay safe if you’re planning on drinking or taking drugs over this season.

  1. Stay hydrated: make sure you keep hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat: give your body plenty of sustenance to kick on all night.
  3. Take regular breaks: take some time out to chill out and get some fresh air.
  4. Communicate with your friends: if you choose to use drugs, let your friends know what you will be taking so should something go wrong they can get help.
  5. Take care of yourself and your mates: LGBTQ people have a long history of looking out for each other. Check in on each other and make sure everyone is travelling well.
  6. Be aware of your tolerance: If you stopped using, or used less, during COVID, you might have a decreased tolerance. Take less than what you normally would. Always start low, and go slow. Take a small amount and wait until you feel the effects before using again.
  7. Be aware of changes in drug purity: COVID-19 has impacted the drug market, which may affect what’s in whatever you’re taking. Take a small amount to start with and make sure the effects you’re feeling are the desired ones before taking any more.
  8. Be mindful of local drug alerts: This year has seen the presence of fentanyl in a number of substances. Keep up to date with NSW Health drug alerts and Pivot Point to understand what they mean for you.
  9. Stay COVID-safeDon’t share drug equipment with others, sanitise the packaging your drugs come in before you use, and adhere to social distancing measures. Read more information on staying COVID safe while using drugsdrinking alcohol, and smoking.
  10. Practice safe sex. 
  11. Plan your travel: make sure you have a plan for how you’re getting home, and a mask if you need to take public transport or a taxi.
  12. Plan your comedown: if you choose to use alcohol or other drugs, make sure you plan your comedown and give yourself time to recover. Remember that if you’re using more than usual your recovery may take longer. If you had a break over COVID and your tolerance has decreased, heavier use might impact your comedown more than it usually does.
  13. Expect to see police: possessing or supplying drugs is illegal. Police will likely be out in force over the holiday period mandating social distancing restrictions, as well as laws around drugs and alcohol.
  14. Read up on the advice at Fair PlayKnow your rights around police and the law.
  15. Use sterile equipment: if you inject drugs ensure you use your own sterile equipment. You can pick up supplies from ACON’s NSPs until Tuesday, 22nd December, and then again from Wednesday, 6th January.
  16.  Avoid the Drop Zone: GHB is known for its steep dosage response. This means that a tiny increase in dose may cause a dramatic increase in effects. For information on how to avoid the drop zone check out The Risks of GHB: How you can avoid the ‘drop zone’ .
  17. Get Support: if you are concerned about your alcohol and/or other drug use, contact ACON’s substance support team. Substance support provides confidential FREE short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for sexuality and gender diverse people and people with HIV seeking support in relation to their use of alcohol and other drugs. For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact our Sydney office or submit an enquiry.

Party safely, look after yourself and your friends, and stay COVID-safe.

Important numbers:

  • ACON: 02 9206 2000
  • The Inner City Legal Centre: 02 9332 1966
  • Legal Aid NSW: 02 9219 5000
  • LawAccess NSW 1300 888 529
  • Police Assistance Line: 131 444
  • Emergency: 000


Image: Jingda Chen