The dance party culture has developed world wide. Read about teenagers staying safe at dance parties in New Zealand.

Staying Safe

Dance parties, or raves, are linked with risk taking for young people, particularly in relation to drugs. Be aware of how to stay safe at dance parties. Ensure the following:

  • You are aware of the risks associated with drug use
  • You are with friends you can trust
  • You have had a light meal before you go out
  • You keep an eye on your drink, so no-one is able to slip something into it without you knowing
  • You have prevented getting dehydrated and risking heat stroke
  • Safer sex – remember your condoms and lube
  • You are aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol and drugs.

What to take to a dance party or rave

  • Tickets and money – for water, juice, taxi home
  • Telephone number of a taxi company you can trust
  • Condoms and lube
  • ID
  • A filled water bottle – some parties do not supply or sell water. Check this out.
  • Wear cool clothing for dancing
  • If it’s an outdoor party then take warm and waterproof gear in winter and sun block and shades in summer

Drugs at parties

Remember that possessing or supplying party drugs such as Ecstasy,  LSD and amphetamines is against the law and may result in criminal action.

Drugs will affect you in different ways:

  • Your mood may be altered
  • Your sense of what is safe may be distorted
  • Your level of consciousness may be affected.

Check out your knowledge of drugs and if you do choose to take them be sure that they are what you think they are. The risks of overdose increases if you are accepting drugs once you are already out of it, without being sure of the effects of what you are taking. Likewise if you are taking drugs then stick with your mates, who can at least look out for you if your behaviour is unusual. To read more about party drugs and their effects, click on the link below.

The only safe option with drugs is to not use them!

Friends you can trust – keeping safe at dance parties

  • Be sure that your parents or someone responsible knows where you’re going
  • Stick with your mates, or meet up every so often, so someone knows you’re OK
  • If you leave, let your mates know you are going and how you’re getting home

Preventing heat stroke

  • Check out where you can cool down when you arrive, where the bouncers are in case of trouble, where the exits and toilets are
  • Check out where the water is situated and whether you need to pay for it
  • Check out the location of the first aid services
  • Arrange a meeting place with your friends.

Heat stroke can occur because you are too hot and have not drunk enough. Keep cool by taking a break every so often, drink water and eat salty snacks to replace the salt you lose when sweating. A fruit  juice or energy drink once an hour will help to prevent dehydration too.

For those who are taking party drugs such as ecstasy the recommended water intake is 600mls per hour (the approximate amount in a H2GO bottle). There are risks from under hydrating and over hydrating when taking ecstasy.

Signs of heat stroke

  • Not sweating
  • Leg cramps
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Not passing much urine, which is dark in colour
  • Irritation and confusion

Treatment for heat stroke

  • Cool down quickly in a chill out area
  • Remove some clothing and place wet towels or ice on your hands, armpits, neck and head
  • Sip water
  • Call 111 if someone loses consciousness / collapses

Safer sex

Drugs and alcohol can affect your better judgement big time. Watch what you take because once you’re wasted you may make some pretty strange decisions. Try to stay sexually safe.

  • Carry condoms and lube – and use them!
  • Use them even if you are on the Pill – only condoms can reduce your chances of getting STIs
  • Watch our for your mates and ask them to watch out for you too
  • Be aware of the risks of rape and stay in safe areas and get home safely.

Getting home safely from dance parties

• Arrange a sober/drug free driver, who you can trust
• Or keep money for a taxi and always use the back seat
• If the cab seems suspicious, call another one and request a female driver

Stay safe and have fun!

Useful Articles

Alcohol and Young People provides great information for teenagers and parents

Alcohol and Parties gives some great advice on how to have fun at parties, without letting alcohol spoil the night

Dance Parties and Drugs explains the effects of common drugs available at dance parties – find out more about the effects of drugs.

For advice on Contraception, click here.

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Paula Skelton is a qualified NZ nurse and midwife, a midwifery & childbirth educator and the mum of three lovely girls.

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