Safety at Parties

Young women's version of this guide
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Dancing peopleAs fun as parties may be, they can also get out of control. This guide will help you think ahead before you going to (or throwing) a party, and give you tips on what to do if things get out of hand.

How do I keep myself safe at a party?

  • It’s a good idea to tell your parents or an adult where you’ll be before you leave the house.
  • It’s helpful to go to a party with friends who you know are responsible.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of risk like a lot of alcohol or drug use. If you see things that make you uncomfortable, it’s okay to leave, even if your friends aren’t ready.
  • If you feel awkward leaving, you can say you have other plans, or that your parents are making you come home.

What if I want to throw a party?

Throwing a party when your parent(s)/guardian(s) aren’t home might seem tempting, but it’s not a good idea. Your guests could end up destroying property or being so noisy that a neighbor calls the police.

If you really want to have a party at home, make sure you get your parent(s)/guardian(s) permission first, and make sure they’re home when you have your friends over.

What should I know about drugs and alcohol?

There may be alcohol or drugs at a party. Alcohol and drugs affect everyone differently, so even someone you know well may act differently. People who have been drinking or taking drugs can’t think clearly. Make sure that you aren’t pressuring someone into something (such as having sex or taking drugs with you) that they or you will regret later. If someone pressures you to drink or take drugs, have some responses ready to help you refuse.

How can I get home safely?

  • Never leave with strangers
  • Make sure you have safe and reliable transportation to and from the party
  • If you need help getting home, call your parents or another trusted adult, or take public transportation

A scary statistic: In 2013, an estimated 10.9% of people over the age of 12 drove under the influence of alcohol at least once. (Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings)

  • Never drive if you’ve been drinking alcohol or using marijuana or other drugs
  • Never get in a car with another driver who has been drinking alcohol or using marijuana or other drugs

What can I do to develop a safety plan?

Even if you don’t feel vulnerable, it’s always better to be safe.

Here are some tips that you can use as part of your safety plan:

  • Tell your parents or other trusted adult where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and when you’ll be back
  • Keep emergency phone numbers in your cell phone
  • Take some money with you in case of emergency
  • Stay in well-lit public places
  • Stick with another person or a group of your friends
  • Be aware of strangers; if you talk to them, don’t volunteer information about yourself
  • Agree on a code word to use on the phone with your family so they know you need help