Drink and drugs

Drinking large amounts of alcohol or taking any type of drugs can put you at significant risk of harm.


Many people like to go out with friends to have a good time. This could mean going to a friend’s house, a pub, club, a music festival or event but this does not necessarily mean that alcohol or drugs would be involved.

However, given that some people do take drugs when they go out and that you can never tell exactly what an illegal drug contains or what effect it will have, they put themselves at serious risk of harm. There is no safe level of illicit drug use. If you suspect negative effects from drugs taken by you or someone else, remember that every second counts, so react fast and call an ambulance.

Please note that Police will not normally attend unless ambulance officers are threatened or there is a death.

Planning ahead, including thinking about how you will respond if you or someone else runs into trouble will help you to reduce the risk of anyone coming to harm if things do not go as planned. This section gives you some tips on how to make sure your social event is a memorable one and not for the wrong reasons.

When you are out make smart decisions. Some things to consider:

  • You do not need to drink or use drugs to have a good time, set limits and stick to them. Alcohol can change your behaviour and make you do things that you wouldn’t normally do.
  • The safest choice is not to take drugs at all.
  • Keep your wits about you and trust your own judgement or gut instinct. If a situation doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  • Stay close to friends you trust, and look after each other.
  • If you are faced with a situation that could turn violent, walk away.
  • When entering and exiting a venue or event, take note of conditions of entry such as lock out times, pass outs and excessive queues, as you may not be able to get back in.
  • To avoid drink spiking,
    • watch your drinks being poured if possible,
    • don’t leave your drink unattended
    • don’t accept drinks from a stranger
    • alcohol is the most common drug used to spike drinks.
  • Even soft drinks get spiked
  • If a friend appears to have been drink-spiked, don’t leave them alone. Assist them to get medical attention.
  • Remain hydrated by drinking water between alcoholic drinks. If the venue or event is licensed, they are required by law to provide you with free drinking water.
  • Be aware that mixing alcohol and drugs can put you at greater risk of overdosing. The depressant effects of alcohol can mask the effects of stimulant drugs like amphetamines.
  • When you mix alcohol with energy drinks it can also have a masking effect and you may not feel as drunk as you are, and may take more risks.
  • Take regular breaks from dancing to prevent overheating.
  • Seek help immediately if you are worried about yourself or someone else.