It’s not a cliché – students really do like having a good time. Whether you like hitting the clubs on a Friday night or ensconcing yourself in a cosy pub, whether you frequent house parties or like inviting a few mates around to your flat share, staying safe when you’re having fun is of the utmost importance. At Student Rooms 4 U we care about your welfare and often post helpful and informative articles on our blog to do take a look, https://www.studentrooms4u.co.uk/latest-news/.
From knowing your limits to making sure that you take safety precautions when out on the town, there are things you can do to ensure your wellbeing and that of your friends. Read our top tips on staying safe when on a night out in Plymouth.
Something you need to watch out for when drinking in a public place, or around people you don’t know, is drink spiking. This is when someone illegally tampers with your beverage by adding drugs to it that will have a physical effect on the drinker. The effects can include:
- Loss of concentration, balance or memory
- Blackouts or blurred vision
- Lowered inhibitions
- Confusion, hallucinations, paranoia or unconsciousness
- Vomiting or nausea
People spike drinks for a number of reasons, but often it’s done to get away with committing a robbery or sexual assault on the victim. Because victims aren’t always aware that they’ve been spiked and mightn’t have any clear memories of the attack, it can be hard to convict anyone for illegal drink spiking – this is why it’s so important to keep yourself safe in the first place and reduce your chances of being spiked. Follow these guidelines to keep yourself and your friends safe:
- Never accept drinks from strangers
- Buy your own drinks and keep an eye on them – don’t leave drinks unattended
- Choose individual bottled drinks rather than drinks in large vessels – it’s much easier to spike a cocktail jug than a bottle
- Whether you’re male or female, don’t walk home alone if you’ve been drinking. Always make plans to go with a friend or use reliable public transport. If possible, book ahead of time
- Don’t give your address to anyone you’ve just met
- If you’re suspicious that a drink has been tampered with, don’t drink it – report it to the bar staff and tell a trusted friend
- If you think you’ve drunk a spiked drink, tell a trusted friend immediately and go somewhere safe – don’t spend time alone in a public space. If you feel unwell, seek medical advice
- Don’t let your inhibitions drop if you’re in a private environment – a house party might have guests that you don’t know and you should be as careful as if it were a public bar
Plymouth Street Pastors
Sometimes drama can ensue on a night out, even in good company. Bust-ups with friends, arguments with partners – difficult situations can feel all the more traumatic when fuelled by a couple of pints. If you need a non-judgemental, understanding friend to turn to, the Plymouth Street Pastors patrol popular Plymouth hotspots on a Friday and Saturday evening. Whether you’ve experienced an emotional situation, are dangerously intoxicated, are suffering from addiction or are feeling vulnerable, the street pastors can offer advice or recommend you to other appropriate agencies.
Plymouth Safe Bus
Similar to the street pastors, since 2018 the Plymouth Safe Bus has been providing a safe place for vulnerable people in the early hours on Saturday nights in Plymouth. Staffed by volunteer first aiders, the bus enables people to seek help if they need medical assistance or are feeling unwell.
Staying Safe in Clubs
As well as taking care of your drinks when you go clubbing, there are other things you can do to ensure your safety:
- Don’t show off any expensive items on your person such as an iPhone. If possible, leave expensive items you don’t need at home as they might make you a target for robbery
- Before you go out, make plans about where you’re going, who with and at what time. Tell people where you’re going and when you plan to be home
- Drink water regularly – having a few drinks is fun, but the night won’t end well if you overdo it
- Look out for others – if you see someone in distress, ask if they need help. Don’t just assume that someone else will deal with them
- Keep yourself in check – throughout the night, make sure you haven’t lost anything, and be mindful of how your feeling. If you feel like you’ve had too much to drink or are getting too tired, don’t ignore it – listen to your body
- Avoid drama. Don’t get into arguments when you’re intoxicated
- Find out numbers of local taxi companies before you go out – don’t get into a taxi that doesn’t look official. If you aren’t certain, err on the side of caution. You can always ask bar staff to help you out if you don’t know who to call
- Safety in numbers. Whenever possible, stay in a group and make sure that no-one is left on their own. This includes trips to the toilet – if your friend has been in there for a while, check if anything is wrong
Don’t be put off by the doom and gloom – you’re unlikely to experience drink spiking when you go out on the town, but it can’t hurt to take precautions when it comes to staying safe. The first step is by looking out for your friends, who in turn will be looking out for you, to ensure each other’s safety when you’re having fun.