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 Smoking, Drinking & Addiction

December 2009
10 Ways to Party Safe this Holiday Season
Smiti Munwani
 
Unfortunately, not everybody is safe as these recent headlines culled from newspapers show: "Party with 'friends' ends in gang rape," "Drunk driving is a major cause of accidents in India," "Drugs seized from Colaba rave party," "Girl sustains 30 percent burns in cracker fire"…

You've bought new clothes and accessories, you've planned where you are going and with whom, you've made arrangements with your parents/children/peers (depending upon your age) and are all set to have a rollicking time this holiday season. Perhaps you've even gone to great lengths to diet and have that special sparkle on your face and body as well. But are you sure that you are going to be safe and not sorry after all is over?

None for the Road
If you are going to consume alcohol and if you have a tendency to go overboard, make sure that there is one person who is a designated driver in the group, who will stay sober. There are just too many incidents of dangerous and many times, fatal accidents on road due to drivers who have consumed one too many. You don't want to pay for your partying with your life, or for the rest of your life! Alternatively, make arrangements to hire a driver, a private car or taxi to ferry you home.

The Lows of 'High'
There are always stories of busts at various parties where cannabis, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy and other chemical substances are freely used. Even if you don't indulge in them, you will still get nabbed if there is a raid. Think of the social repercussions, apart from getting involved with the police and suffering the ignominy of finding your name or photo in the papers or TV channels - and risk losing your job and your dignity.

Homing Back
The 'Rule No. 1' before going to a party is to ensure how you will get back home. Never, never hitch a ride with people you don't know or don't trust. It's better to be safe than sorry and if you are a girl, then never get in a car or vehicle which is full of males - regardless of their age.

It's OK to Overstay
In case you've had a glass of wine too many or do not feel secure driving back home or taking a ride back, there is no point risking a late night adventure. It would be safer to request your host if you can stay the night at his or her house. Go back home the next morning in a safer and far more sober environment.

Stranger Anxiety
If you are hosting a party, avoid entertaining friends of friends who are total strangers. You can never know how people behave especially under the influence of alcohol. A normal person can easily turn into a drunken lout after a few drinks. It is best to say no to such requests from friends to avoid social embarrassment in the middle of a party.

Arm Yourself
For single girls it is best to go 'armed' to a party. Keep a self defence gadget in your purse which you can access easily. 'Weapons' like pepper sprays, whistle alarms and stun guns are easily available in the market. Keep one handy for an untoward emergency.

Dress Sensibly
Girls, you should never go dressed like Paris Hilton to a party, however chic that sounds. Being Paris attracts avoidable attention and gives guys a free license for all kind of wild ideas, in spite of its chauvinistic tones. Go ahead and be with the fashion, but wear sensible attire that is elegant and trendy, but not overly flashy or revealing. Also, make sure you have warm clothes to keep you from the winter's chill.

Thought for Food
Everyone knows it is a festive occasion but you don't have to go overboard with your food. Be a sensible eater and don't gorge yourself with the oily stuff which would make you inflate like a New Year balloon. Have smaller portions and keep it light and easy on the stomach. Limit your dessert as well.

Keep Hygiene in Mind
If you have a cough and cold or other flu-like symptoms do not go to a party where you can infect others. Always wash your hands thoroughly. If you are at a party where other people may be coughing or sneezing, keep a safe distance from them. Avoid handshakes and air kissing as well.

Go ahead and party, because it's the season for that. But party safe so that you are not sorry at the end of it.

    
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