Plan Ahead: If you Don’t Want to be Sober, be Safe and Sane This New Year’s Eve
Another Story for EDGE and the link to the final edit.
It’s Christmas Day and the family is all asleep at six pm. In a few days it will be New Year’s Eve and they’ll all be asleep at six pm again! The disco nap is a time honoured tradition in our house, observed before every party. We love parties and we love to party. We also love to wake up the day after, safe and sound. That’s why we have a few simple rules in our family that we pass on to all our loved ones.
If you’re planning on drinking on New Year’s Eve, do yourself a favour and have a good dinner before you go out. Drinking on an empty stomach is the fastest way to get loaded and be “That guy” who embarrasses himself, throws up on the sofa and wakes up hungover. That thing they say about having a glass of water between drinks isn’t a myth – alcohol dehydrates you and you become drunk with greater speed and impact. Hydrate! It’s also good to know two things about yourself: your limitation and your objective. We who drink know exactly which alcohols have a bad affect on us and how much we can take before we lose control; and everyone goes to a party with a purpose – some go to eat, some to drink, some to hook up. What’s your objective? If it’s to get shitfaced, know that about yourself and go with a friend who won’t mind holding your hair back or letting you know when you are making out with someone who isn’t hot. The most important thing about partying with a responsible wingman is the better chances of getting home without being rolled, raped, mugged or murdered. The most self-reliant way to keep any of those things from happening to you is to be in control of your glass. Pour your own drinks, get drinks from the bar for yourself, don’t set your drink down. If you control your glass, you know that nobody has put anything unwanted in it. Dangerous times and crazy people, dudes.
Not everyone goes drinking on New Year’s Eve. There are other stimulants that people use but don’t talk about. If your aim is to go out and party, there are other precautions that were passed onto me by Christian Sipaco, Vice President of MedEvent (https://medevent.org/ ) and by a friend of mine who is a physician and a gay man who has shared many a dance floor with me. Their advice to me was logical and easy to follow.
Know your drug. Use the internet to learn what it will do to you, how much to take, when to do a second dose, what drugs NOT to mix and match, if you have any conditions that will be badly affected by this drug, including not using stimulants with a heart condition and not using sedatives if you tend toward depression; but also consider your current health. The good doctor pointed out that recreational drugs have a tendency to not work on a body that is compromised by illness or elevate a mood that is preoccupied with sadness. Don’t waste good money on drugs if you’re ill: stay home, get better and go to the Valentine’s Day party! We’ll all be at that one, too.
Know your supplier. Don’t take drugs from a source that can’t be trusted to provide you with something safe. Whether you have a dealer or you get your party supplies from a friend, know the source can be trusted.
Know your crowd. Don’t party with strangers. If something goes wrong and you are the fall out boy, you can count on your friends to care for you until you can walk on your own again. You cannot count on strangers; take this as fact. If it happens and you need some help, turn to two close friends and say “I’m in trouble” and they, your family, will take turns caring for you, discreetly, so you don’t get thrown out of the club, which is never sexy.
Know where the MedEvent tent is. They are there for a reason and that reason is your safety.
Finally, a word or two about sexual safety. We all like to party and we all like to get it on; but nobody likes to wake up the next day wondering if they need a trip to the doctor for an HIV test or STD meds. If you respect your substance – be it drink or drug – and respect yourself enough to want to not be “That guy or girl”, you will be able to pace yourself and be present when you hook up with that hottie at four am. You can also wake up the next day knowing whether or not you were a great lay. We all know you are; don’t you want to know, too?