With a big weekend ahead, how is it possible to party safely? No matter what anyone tells you, there are no guarantees. Experimenting with drugs, whether they be legal or illegal, is a risky activity and should always be regarded as such. The moment you stop believing that is the time you should stop using drugs.

Saying that, what can you do this weekend to reduce the risk of things going wrong? Of course, the safest thing to do is not to use but, if that is not a feasible option for you, here are a few tips that could help you through a big weekend of partying.

Prepare yourself. Just like a marathon, you need to prepare your body and mind for the big party. Make sure you sleep well in the week leading up to the big event and make sure you eat well. Good food strengthens your immune system so that you can handle problems and the stress they cause a lot better. Drink eight glasses of water per day to help the liver and kidneys flush the body of toxins.

Know your surroundings. No matter if you’re spending your weekend at a nightclub, the local pub or the Showgrounds make sure you take the time to walk around and get to know the venue.

Stick to what you know. As much as you may be tempted this is not the weekend to experiment with things you have never tried before. There are risks with all drugs, and those risks are greatly increased when you throw in something new to the mix. Taking something completely new in a large party context is a surefire recipe for potential disaster.

Take regular breaks. Make sure you take the time to cool down at regular intervals during the evening. Remember that your pulse rate should slow down when you stop dancing and your body temperature should drop also. If this is not happening, carefully drink fluids or seek medical attention.

Finally, make sure you’ve planned for your comedown. The days, and sometimes the weeks, after a big party can be pretty difficult for some people. Try to plan for that time by thinking about what is to come. For every high there is usually a low. Try to make sure that the week after a party is relatively stress-free. Never make life-altering decisions in this time and do your best to not be alone. If you know someone who looks like being by themselves, organise to spend some time with them. Simple things like going out for a coffee or watching a video with someone can make the comedown time so much more bearable.

Most importantly, remember that the use of most drugs is illegal. No matter what you think of the laws around illicit drugs, that is a point you cannot ignore. For the sake of the parties and venues you attend over the weekend, be respectful of that and never put yourself or others into situations which could be dangerous.

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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