Alcohol is a very powerful drug. Drinking too much alcohol can change your behaviour, make you vulnerable to personal harm and crime, can cause health problems, and over time you may become dependant on it.
People drink alcohol for all sorts of different reasons - some find that it helps to make them more sociable, relaxed and confident. However, you should never rely on alcohol to feel good about yourself nor should you feel pressured by your friends to drink more than you want to.
Frank - www.talktofrank.com
Alcohol Concern - 020 7928 7377 - www.alcoholconcern.org.uk
Drinkline - 0800 917 8282
Watch yourself, watch your friends. Drink spiking is a crime. Drug assisted rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of age, sex or sexuality.
What you can do to help keep you and your friends safe
Getting ready when heading out
- Take your mobile phone.
- Make sure someone else knows where you are going.
- Plan how you and your friends will get home - keep aside money for bus fare or a taxi.
- If you are driving, decide who is going to be your sober driver.
- Decide on a meeting point for the end of the night.
At the pub, club or party
- Watch your drinks
- Buy your own drinks. Think twice before accepting drinks from strangers or people you don't know very well, even if they seem really genuine.
- Avoid sharing drinks.
- Watch your drink being poured or the bottle or can being opened at the bar.
- Keep an eye on your drink and your friends' drinks at all times when dancing, going to the toilet or talking to other people.
- If your drink looks cloudy, changes in colour/consistency, or doesn't taste right then don't drink it.
- Keep any suspicious drinks for evidence - tell the bar manager.
- If you start to feel drowsy or suddenly 'out-of-it' don't hope it'll pass - have a friend or someone you trust take you to a safe place.
Watch your friends
- Keep an eye on your friends.
- Stay with a friend who is drunk, feeling sick, uncoordinated, confused or faint. Don't leave them alone.
- Take them to a safe place and tell someone else if you are worried (such as your other friends, the bar or security staff).
- If someone collapses and is unconscious call an ambulance immediately.
What if you suspect a drug assisted sexual assault?
- Fear, shame, anger, frustration, panic, guilt, despair and embarrassment are all normal reactions.
- Avoid showering or washing to preserve any evidence.
- Go to a doctor or the emergency department at the local hospital.
- A urine test, within 24 hours, could prove whether you are drugged.
- Remember you are not to blame, the perpetrator is always 100% responsible. Rape and sexual assault are crimes.
Getting home at the end of the night
- It could be unsafe to go home alone or with someone you have only just met.
- Let your friends know you are leaving so they don't worry if they can't find you.
- Keep to main streets and well-lit areas.
- Don't get in the taxi if you are uneasy about the driver. Sit in the back seat.
- Walk with a friend or in a group rather than by yourself.
Where to get help
Accident and Emergency
Hillingdon Hospital - 01895 238282
08457 90 90 90
KISS & Sorted
Addiction, Recovery, Community, Hillingdon Service (Arch)
Tel: 01895 207777
Last updated: Tue 10 Jan 2017 at 10:01