It’s that time of the year again and our local community is busy dusting off its finery for several days of partying. Parties are a firm part of our cultural landscape. They create spaces where we celebrate our diversity.

Parties are traditionally a time when most of us push our limits. Planning ahead and having strategies for parties is important, so here are some hints for safe partying.

-¢ Eat sensibly on the day and rest beforehand.

-¢ Assign a meeting point with friends.

-¢ If doing drugs, tell someone what you’ve taken. If you or mates are having difficulties, check in with a Rover.

-¢ If you’re on HIV treatments or any prescriptions, think about dosing schedules.

-¢ Educate yourself about any possible interactions of any drugs (illicit or prescribed) that you may take.

-¢ Take breaks from the dancefloor.

-¢ Drink enough water, especially when dancing -“ 600ml per hour.

-¢ Before mixing drugs think about how they might interact.

-¢ Have a safe-sex strategy for the party as it’s easier to negotiate when prepared. Carry condoms, lube, dams and gloves.

-¢ Plan a safe trip home: book cabs or travel with friends who aren’t indulging.

-¢ Plan your recovery: clean sheets, soft food, DVDs, good music and clean clothes.

Local celebrations include Tropical Fruits events: The Red Carpet at Lismore Showgrounds on New Year’s Eve; the next day cool off at Splash held at Lismore Baths; then Recovery from 4pm also at the Showgrounds. More info: www.tropicalfruits.org.au.

ACON will have Rovers at the above parties so keep a look out for them as they are there to assist you. ACON Rovers are trained volunteers who provide a health promotion service at the party. If any trained Rovers are out there and interested in a shift up here in Lismore contact Sioux 6622 1555 or 1800 637 633.

Also don’t miss Bent Events’ Madhatters T Dance at the Lismore Workers Club 30 December and their women-only event, Bodacious, held 2 January. More info: www.bentevents.com.au.

Keep safe and enjoy.

info: Sioux Harrison is ACON’s Northern Rivers Administration and Volunteer Coordinator -“ [email protected]

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