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We know that nights out are a big part of university life. While having fun, it is important to take steps to keep you and your friends safe. Read our advice for keeping safe when going out.

Being drink and drug aware

If you’re drinking alcohol, you should remain drink-aware. No one wants a nasty hangover the next day or a hazy memory of the night before. Drink in moderation and know your limits. It’s a good idea to alternate your drinks. Try having a soft drink or water in between drinks containing alcohol. It’s also important to eat before heading out to avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

Alcohol can affect your body, lifestyle and mental health, both short and long-term. If you need advice or support, please contact the Wellbeing Team.

Drink spiking

Even if you don’t drink alcohol, you should be aware of the dangers surrounding you and your friends. Drink spiking occurs when someone deliberately adds a drug or alcohol to your drink without you knowing it.

Before going out, always let someone know where you are going. And if possible, what time you expect to be home. This is especially important if you are going out with a new crowd.

There are ways to reduce the chances of having your drink spiked. They include:

  • Order your own drinks and never leave it unattended
  • Always go to the bar with your friend
  • Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know
  • If someone you do know offers you a drink, go to the bar with them to get it
  • Keep an eye on your friend’s drinks too.

If your drink has been spiked, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to see, smell or taste any difference. However, you should be aware of changes including:

  • The drink has been moved
  • A straw has been added or removed
  • Bubbling in the drink, that wasn’t there before

Remember the more you drink, the less aware you will be of spotting possible dangers.

If you are worried that your drink has been spiked, you should:

  • Tell someone you trust about what happened
  • If you are alone, ask the pub landlord or bar manager to call a trusted friend for you
  • Ask a friend or someone you trust to take you to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department. You should make the medical staff aware that your drink may have been spiked
  • Report the incident to the police as soon as you can so they could take blood and urine samples
  • Email Campus Life to make the University aware. Edge Hill can then liaise with the police and other relevant partners if necessary.

And don’t forget, you can access support at University by contacting The Wellbeing Team.

Our students teamed up with officers from Lancashire Constabulary and partners to create a personal safety campaign including this video about drink spiking.

Personal safety

It is important to look after your safety. Whether you’re out in Ormskirk, Liverpool, Manchester or your hometown. Here are our top 10 tips for staying safe:

  1. Look out for each other. Never leave someone on their own on a night out
  2. Be careful when using cash points. Keep your pin hidden and try not to visit a cashpoint on your own. If possible withdraw any cash you might need for a night out during the day when it’s light.
  3. On a night out, try and travel together with your friends, especially if you’re on your way home late at night.
  4. Taking a taxi home is safer than walking, so make sure you keep some money aside to get home. If you need to get a taxi, make sure you only use a registered one. Remember, it is only black cabs that can be flagged down. Unless it’s a black hackney cab, never get into a vehicle you didn’t order. The EdgeLink bus also runs later after Wednesday Social nights. Take your UniCard for a free, safe trip home.
  5. When walking at night, stick to well-lit and well-used areas and don’t take shortcuts through dark alleyways or parks.
  6. When you’re out and about, keep any valuables secure.
  7. Be alert to your surroundings and follow your instincts. If you don’t feel safe, try to find somewhere safe.
  8. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, meet in a public place. Before you go, make sure you tell someone where you’re going.
  9. Always have an emergency contact number in your phone.
  10. Check your personal safety feature on your phone. Most phones have features where you can easily call emergency services, even when your phone is locked.

Getting support and advice

If you ever need support or advice, just email the friendly Catalyst team or use the live chat service.

If you ever need help in an emergency on campus, the Campus Support team is available 24/7 at 01695 657585.

The Student Wellbeing Team provide support for anyone who is struggling with their mental health, contributing to a more positive university experience. If you need any advice or want support with any mental health difficulty, contact Student Wellbeing via our email address which is [email protected] or book an appointment via our webpages

It’s important to not only take care of ourselves, but other people too. If you have any concerns about another student you can use our anonymous reporting form to Let Us Know.

Take care. But most of all, enjoy everything that your student experience has to offer.

October 9, 2023


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