Students on a night out at The Students' Union

Have a safe night out

Going on a night out with friends is a big part of student life, but it is important that you look after yourself. The information below includes useful advice on alcohol units and limits, taxi numbers and top tips to make sure you stay safe.

Know your limits

You should not regularly exceed:

Female: two to three units per day.
Male: three to four units per day.

Further information about units

Find out what is in a unit and how many units are in your favourite drink on the NHS Choices website.

Top tips

  • Every third swap for pop: having a soft drink in between drinking alcohol will keep you hydrated and help your head the next day.
  • Keep pace, it’s not a race: drinking in rounds means you can end up drinking more and faster than you normally would. It’s OK to buy your own or miss a couple of rounds.
  • Start the night with a bite: make sure you eat before drinking (and keep having snacks).

Before you go out

  • Make sure you can get home safely by keeping your taxi money separate from your drinking money.
  • Put ICE (in case of emergency) numbers on your phone.
  • Have dinner before you go out. Alcohol is full of calories but has no real nutritional value.
  • You may not notice the effects of pre-drinking until some time later, so take it steady and pace yourself throughout the night to avoid getting too drunk too quickly.

During

  • If instinct says don’t do something, then don’t. Alcohol can affect your judgment.
  • Alcohol affects women quicker and the effects last longer than for men.
  • Avoid rounds – you may feel pressured into drinking more than you want.
  • If you leave before your friends – or with someone you’ve just met – let your friends know who you’re going with and where you’re going.
  • Never leave drinks unattended, as they can get spiked.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with alcohol free drinks as this will steady the flow of alcohol and will help your hangover the next day.
  • Know your limits – avoid mixing your drinks or drinking too quickly.
  • Friends look after each other. If one of your friends gets very drunk stay with them and if they’re on the floor keep them on their side; don’t let them turn onto their back.

After

  • Drink a pint of water before going to bed to stop your body/skin dehydrating.
  • Give your body a few drink-free days to recover after a heavy drinking session.
  • On average it takes your body an hour to get rid of each unit of alcohol. Bear this in mind if you plan on just having one and driving home.

For all the facts visit drinkaware.co.uk.

Useful resources

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