Tips for the best Leavers (ever)

Not using alcohol or other drugs is the safest choice and it’s the best way to make sure you have the best time.

If you do choose to use, we’ve prepared some information based on the latest advice the best strategies to help you have a good time and stay safer with your friends at Leavers.

Buddy up and look after your mates.

Good friends make for good times. Chat to your friends before you head out to plan how you’ll look out for each other, including having a meet up spot if you get split up.

Don’t ruin your night – don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach and space out your drinks.

Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach speeds up the time it takes for your body to absorb the alcohol which means you’re more likely to feel dizzy, nauseous, vomit and/or pass out.

Sculling a glass of water or having a plate of food after you’ve started drinking won’t necessarily help reduce the effect alcohol has on your body or reduce your blood alcohol concentration.

To reduce the chances of ending up with your head in the sink, space out your drinks and make sure you’ve eaten before you start drinking.

Stay hydrated. 

Drinking enough water each day is important for overall health – it helps to regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, keep body organs functioning properly and helps us to sleep better and feel better emotionally.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it undoes the good work that water does in our body and can make us feel dehydrated.

Drinking plenty of water is especially important when drinking alcohol – this will keep you feeling well so you can have your best leavers (and it will also help you feel better tomorrow).

Leave the mixing to the DJ - don't mix alcohol and other drugs. 

Mixing alcohol with other drugs, including prescription ones, increase the chances of something going wrong and the effects can be unpredictable.

For example, mixing alcohol with amphetamines, such as MDMA, can have dangerous masking effects 1 and lead to someone taking more, which can result in dehydration, heat stroke or overdose.

Mixing alcohol with some prescription medication can be dangerous and also worsen your symptoms. For example, mixing alcohol with anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication can leave you feeling more depressed or anxious, worsen your side effects and impair your thinking and alertness. Most anti-depressants require taking a daily dose to work how they should. You should never stop or start taking these kinds of medications without the help of your doctor (this can be dangerous for you). Don’t stop and start your medication just to drink alcohol. If you experience anxiety or depression, it’s best not to drink, but if you plan to, speak to your doctor or health professional beforehand.

Using MDMA?

Did you know it’s the MDMA in the MDMA that causes the most harm? 2 MDMA can contribute to causing dangerously high body temperatures, brain swelling, and seizures.34 5 These conditions can cause death unless recognised and treated early.

If you choose to use MDMA, here are some things you should do:

  • Educate yourself about the risks by visiting Drug Aware.
  • Try a small amount and wait to feel the effects.
  • Don’t double drop.6
  • Hydrate safely by drinking no more than 2 cups of water per hour (not more),7 chill out and take a break (especially if you’re feeling hot)8 and don’t mix MDMA with alcohol or other drugs – especially prescription drugs such as anti-depressants.9
  • If you feel unwell, tell someone and seek medical help as soon as possible.

Screenshot this and send it to your friends. 

Don't accept drinks from other people. 

Did you know alcohol is the most common substance used in drink spiking? 10 The signs someone has had their drink spiked can be similar to symptoms people experience if they’ve consumed a lot of alcohol (like feeling sick or dizzy, feeling drunk after only a small amount of alcohol or passing out). If you notice these symptoms come on quickly, it could be a sign you or your friend has had their drink spiked.

Don’t accept drinks from other people (even if you know them) and don’t leave your drink unattended. If your drink doesn’t taste right – don’t drink it.

If you think that you or someone you know has had your drink spiked, ask someone you trust to help you get to a safe place and seek help urgently.

Not feeling well? Find a medic. 

If you or your friends aren’t feeling well, find a medic or call triple zero (000). They won’t call the cops or your parents.

Consent comes first.

Great sex starts with an enthusiastic yes.

Asking for your partner’s consent shows that you respect their body, their boundaries, their feelings, and their decisions. Consent is an important first step in having sex that is a mutual, safe, and happy decision. Consent is also a legal requirement.

Alcohol and other drugs can make it harder for you to give consent (because you may not be fully aware of what is happening) and may make it harder for you to judge if your partner has given appropriate consent as well.

FYI: Condoms with water-based lube is the most effective way to prevent HIV, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

Don't ruin your hot girl summer.

  • Be sun smart by wearing your sunnies, a long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat, and by using sunscreen (30+SPF) and seeking shade.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water.
  • Stay out of the water if you’re drinking alcohol.

Silins E, Copeland J, Dillon P. Qualitative Review of Serotonin Syndrome, Ecstasy (MDMA) and the use of Other Serotonergic Substances: Hierarchy of Risk. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry. 2007;41:649-55


Roxburgh A, Lappin J. MDMA-related deaths in Australia 2000 to 2018. Int J Drug Policy. 2020;76:102630.


Liechti ME. Effects of MDMA on body temperature in humans. Temperature (Austin). 2014;1(3):192-200.


Hall AP, Henry JA. Acute toxic effects of ‘Ecstasy’ (MDMA) and related compounds: overview of pathophysiology and clinical management. British journal of anaesthesia : BJA. 2006;96(6):678-85.


Silins E, Copeland J, Dillon P. Qualitative Review of Serotonin Syndrome, Ecstasy (MDMA) and the use of Other Serotonergic Substances: Hierarchy of Risk. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry. 2007;41:649-55.


Grigg J, Barratt MJ, Lenton S. Double dropping down under: Correlates of simultaneous consumption of two ecstasy pills in a sample of Australian outdoor music festival attendees. Drug and alcohol review. 2018;37(7):851-5.


Gowing LR, Henry-Edwards SM, Irvine RJ, Ali RL. The health effects of ecstasy: a literature review. Drug and alcohol review. 2002;21(1):53-63.


Bellis MA, Hughes K, Lowey H. Healthy nightclubs and recreational substance use: From a harm minimisation to a healthy settings approach. Addictive behaviors. 2002;27(6):1025-35.


Fernández-Calderón F, Díaz-Batanero C, Barratt MJ, Palamar JJ. Harm reduction strategies related to dosing and their relation to harms among festival attendees who use multiple drugs. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2019;38(1):57-67.


Quigley, P., Lynch, D., Little, M., Murray, L., Lynch, A., & O’Holloran, S. (2009). Prospective study of 101 patients with suspected drink spiking. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 21, 222-228. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2009.01185.x

Page last updated: 11 November 2021

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