It’s hard to believe that it is just over three weeks until the Mardi Gras weekend. As I have said many times, our community has always been a world leader in party safety. Although our parties and major events are among the largest in the world, they are also acknowledged as some of the safest.

We now live in a very different world than we did when I was in the midst of my partying days. Sniffer dogs, roadside drug testing and the growing threat of alcohol-fuelled violence have changed the way many people party.

The slogan “Keep yourself nice – play safe” was the tagline introduced by the Toybox party a number of years ago, but it is an important one and one I hope people remember in the weeks to come. “Keep yourself nice – party safe” is based around three safety tips. They are as follows:

• Be prepared. Get some rest, eat well and be mentally prepared for your big day. If you know that you’re going to have a big couple of days partying, get yourself both mentally and physically prepared for that time. In the week prior, eat well – lots of fruits and vegetables are a great way to start – and on the day try to eat a meal full of carbohydrates to give you energy for the time ahead (a plate of pasta is a good option). Get lots of rest.

• Buddy up. Find a friend and stick with them through the day ahead. Stick closely with someone you trust when you go out partying just in case things go wrong. It would be preferred if this person was not intoxicated but this is not always possible – so the message is stay with a friend and look after each other.

• Get help. If something goes wrong, seek medical assistance immediately. This is a message which has been taken up by our community over the years, mainly due to the amazing work done by teams of medical volunteers who have given up their time to make sure that party patrons are as safe as possible.

Have a very safe Mardi Gras season and remember, keep yourself nice.

Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blasé.

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