Whether it’s just the weekend or a holiday party, it is important to drink and party safely. A holiday such as Halloween includes big parties and crazy costumes which might also entice people to party harder than usual. Following these simple guidelines can help to ensure a happy, safe Halloween and holiday season.

 

Start the party off with a good meal and avoid consuming over the counter medications. This can help regulate the absorption rate of drugs and alcohol into the bloodstream. Next, decide on a set number of drinks before you start partying and keep track of how many drinks you consume throughout the night. Pace yourself. One or two drinks an hour adds up quickly in your bloodstream. Never drink or take something if you are unsure of what it is or what’s in it. Open your own drinks and only take them directly from the bartender. Any drugs should come from a reliable, trustworthy source (i.e. avoid the blue acid at Woodstock) and question that source thoroughly. If they hesitate or “don’t know”, don’t risk it!

 

Whenever we’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s best to do so with friends and in numbers. A bad situation can become quite worse if there is no one around to help. At the beginning of the night, friends should make an agreement to let the other know if it seems they’ve reached their limit. If a person does seem to elicit signs of drug and alcohol related sickness or overdose, never refrain from seeking medical attention, even if the victim in under 18 or 21. Don’t leave them alone or lying face-up if they become unconscious. It is important to roll them on their side. Check their airway, breathing and circulation at consistent intervals until medical attention arrives.

Lastly, DON’T PARTY AND TRY TO OPERATE A VEHICLE OF ANY KIND! In Montana, you can also get a DUI while riding a horse. Accidents and injuries can still occur even if there isn’t an automobile involved. If you party-hop or go out for late night snacks, call a cab or ask a sober friend to drive. Decide to be the designated driver for your group of friends! Ask your bartender for a sober driver wristband and you'll be entered into Missoula's Designated Driver program that gives a monthly winner $100 in gas money. Invite the party for stroll to the corner store. Group walks always make for good memories and can also help your body metabolize the drugs or alcohol in your system. Following these guidelines can ensure happy memories and fun this holiday season.