How to be safer
At the start of the night out think about how you and your mates will get home.
- Arrange a designated driver. The group could buy non-alcoholic drinks for them or pay for the petrol. You could volunteer to be the designated driver.
- Stick together and look out for each other. It's best if someone in the team drinks a bit less so they can keep an eye out for the rest.
- Share a taxi. Put some cash aside and share a taxi home. Put it in your shoe, so you won't spend it. Or call Dial-a-Driver and get them to drive you and your vehicle home.
- Going it alone is not such a good idea. If you have to walk home, go with a friend. Don't let your friends wander off by themselves either, especially if they're less onto it than you.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions and planning, things go wrong.
IN AN EMERGENCY - CALL 111
If someone loses consciousness take the following steps:
- Call an ambulance as soon as possible. Explain to the ambulance crew what has happened.
- Put the person in the recovery position.
- Make sure they're breathing and that their mouth is empty.
- Clear any vomit away from their mouth.
- If they stop breathing, start CPR (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation).
- Loosen any tight clothing that might restrict their breathing.
- Keep them warm - use blankets or a coat (but not too warm).
- Don’t ignore someone who is unconscious or vomiting.
- Don’t give someone fluids, even water, if you think they're in shock or unconscious.
- Don’t leave someone alone, especially if they are unconscious.
- Stay with a person who is vomiting! Try to keep the person sitting up. If they must lie down, keep them on their side with their head turned to the side (the recovery position).
- Watch for choking - if the person begins to choke, get help immediately.
- If a person drinks alcohol in combination with any other drug, the combined effect could be fatal.
- If the person is not in need of medical attention and is going to 'sleep it off':
- be sure to position the person on their side, placing a pillow behind them to prevent them from rolling onto their back (prevents choking)
- stay with the person and wake them frequently. Alcohol levels may continue to rise even in sleep, causing the person to become unconscious, rather than asleep. If at any time you cannot wake the person up, call an ambulance.
- Any person who has altered consciousness, slowed respiration, or cool, pale skin could be experiencing acute alcohol intoxication (alcohol poisoning). This is a medical emergency and you must get help urgently. Call 111 or emergency help - ask for the ambulance.
If you have questions about drinking - your own or someone else's - contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline - call 0800 787 797, visit their website, or free text 8681 for confidential advice.