FROM READERS: A guide to staying safe at parties

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | 10:00 a.m. CDT

Marian Trattner was a graduate assistant with MU's Wellness Resource Center. This article was originally published on "Off-Campus Living," a website maintained by MU's Wellness Resource Center. The website has a section with tips about hosting safe parties, recipes for snacks and a list of alcohol laws.

No. 1: Avoid any party that you haven't specifically been invited to. Even with the best of intentions by hosts and guest alike, an "open house" kegger is a high risk situation. If you decide to ignore this advice, here are some suggestions to reduce the chances you'll be hurt, arrested, or wildly embarrassed.

Protect your health and safety:

  • Obey laws.
  • If you're over 21 and choose to drink alcoholic beverages, keep your consumption moderate: zero drinks if you're driving, one per hour sets the pace, no more than 3 per day.
  • If you're drinking, also eat food.
  • Attend with a friend and look out for each other.
  • Leave your valuables at home. Carry only the ID and money you'll need that night.
  • If you choose to be sexually active, bring and use condoms and other latex barriers.
  • Stay off all roofs and any balconies that are crowded.
  • Don't play with fire.
  • Don't argue with cops.
  • Remember drugs and alcohol don't mix — even over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be very dangerous when combined with alcohol.

Protect your reputation, be invited back, catch the eye of possible love interest:

  • Avoid behavior that might get your hosts in big trouble, such as sneaking an underage drink, carrying alcoholic drinks onto public property, throwing bottles, etc.
  • Treat your hosts, their home and their other guests with respect.
  • Clean up after yourself.
  • Obey requests from hosts to quiet down, leave, or stop drinking.
  • Bring a snack to share. Everyone appreciates an extra bag of chips.
  • Mingle, talk to new people — especially that shy one in the corner.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor Joy Mayer. 

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