Safety at Parties

Young women's version of this guide

Dancing people

As fun as parties may be, they can sometimes get out of control. This guide will help you think ahead before you go to or throw 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?

  • Tell someone. It’s a good idea to let your parents or another trusted adult know where you are going before you go.
  • Be choosey.  Attend the party with friends you know make responsible and smart decisions.
  • Be alert. Watch out for drugs and alcohol. If you see things that make you uncomfortable, it’s okay to leave, even if your friends aren’t ready.
  • Have a plan. If you feel awkward leaving, you can say you have other plans, or that your parent(s)/guardian(s) 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. People may ask you if you want to drink alcohol or use drugs; it can be helpful to have some responses ready to decline. It’s also important not to pressure someone else into something (whether using drugs with you or having sex) that they or you may regret later.

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 parent(s), guardian(s), or another trusted adult; take a ride sharing service (link to how safe is it); or take public transportation.
Did you know? In 2018, an estimated 20.5 million of people over the age of 16 drove under the influence of alcohol and 12.6 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs at least once in the last year.
  • 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 parent(s), guardian(s), 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 you trust.
  • Be aware of strangers. If you talk to them, don’t share personal information about yourself.
  • Agree on a code word to use on the phone with your family, friends, or other trusted adult so they know you need help.