The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) recognizes that many people celebrate the holiday season with parties and gatherings that often involve alcohol and other drugs. DPA encourages everyone to enjoy the season responsibly by utilizing #SaferPartying tips.
DPA’s “Safer Partying” Campaign has produced a Check List that provides honest, non-judgmental information about alcohol and other drugs, as well as important harm reduction tips for those who may choose to consume during this festive season.
Overdose deaths are increasing at staggering rates, with 72,000 people dying of a drug overdose in 2017. People between 25 and 44 years old have the highest death rates.
“The holiday season is a big party season,” notes Stefanie Jones, Director of Audience Development at the Drug Policy Alliance. “It’s so important that people know how to keep themselves safe when alcohol and other drugs are often in the mix. We believe that people should be offered balanced information to make their own choices and ensure their own safety.”
DPA’s #SaferPartying Check List
1. Where’s your head at?
Before you go to a holiday party or family event, review your mental state. Are you excited? Nervous about seeing certain family members or being around strangers? Understanding your set and setting is basic for safer consumption. Compare this to your past experience with alcohol and other drugs (if any). This will help you know what kind of choices make sense for your night out.
2. Remember, there are laws
Many drugs are illegal, regardless of their actual benefits or harms to people. Alcohol has rules about where and when – and what age. Be aware of the laws in your city and that large parties and concerts are often targeted for drug law enforcement. In 2017 alone more than 1.6 million people were arrested for drug violations in the United States, with 85% of those arrests for possession.
3. Test it before you ingest it
Prohibition-based drug laws fuel illicit, unregulated markets. Understand that “my friend says it’s okay” or “I trust my guy” could give you a false sense of security. Drug checking kits are available for purchase via DanceSafe or Bunk Police. Testing before you ingest can save your life.
4. Don’t mix intoxicants (but…)
The best plan is to stick with one substance – or at the very least do one thing at a time. That includes alcohol. You can learn more about drug interactions on Erowid.org and get more information on the relative levels of risk when different drugs are combined.
5. Have a buddy/Be a buddy
Talk to a responsible friend about what you’re planning and ask them to keep an eye on you. This person should absolutely not go along the same path of indulgence as you. Choose someone who’s staying sober or partaking lightly. Regardless of your state, keep an eye out for others – even those you don’t know – who may need some help.
Download #SaferPartying Check List