1. Spiking awareness
Spiking isn't your fault, but to make it harder for the perpetrators there are several things you can do:
- Ask for drink and bottle covers at any venue - we've worked with the night time economy to get them in the majority of clubs and bars around Sheffield
- Sheffield has also brought back the Ask for Angela Campaign
- Never put your drink down or let it out of your sight, if in doubt then pour it away
- Check out the usual symptoms of spiking so you're as aware as possible
Nightline is a great student run service that allows you to confidentially and anonymously call someone if you're suffering with your mental health, feeling unsafe or want someone to talk to. If you're in danger then you should always call the police, but if you just need a friendly voice then Nightline is the one for you.
3. Safe Taxi Scheme
We've collaborated with City Taxis to create a Safe Taxi Scheme! If you've run out of cash, you can book your ride with City Taxis and use your student card as temporary payment. Three days later you can collect your student card from the HUBS building and make your actual payment there.
4. Stay in contact!
If you've just moved in with new housemates make sure to get everyone's number or make a group chat before your first night out. Not only will this be useful throughout the year but will help if you get locked out, lost, or need someone to come and get you.
5. Make a note
If you're moving to a new address make sure to make a note of your full address. It may seem silly but if you forget your address then you may not be able to get home safely.
6. Get charged up
Bring a portable charger with you to make sure you don't get stranded without your phone, as we often use it for everything including contacting friends, taxis and paying!
7. Be prepared
Get some cash out. A lot of our clubs need cash for entry fees, but having cash on you will also help if you lose your card or don't have enough phone charge to book an Uber.
8. Safe spots
If you're visiting a new venue make sure you have a meeting point with your mates so you don't get lost (clubs can be confusing if you've never been before!). If you're feeling unsafe, Sheffield City Council will also be hosting a safe area in the city centre for anyone to go to if they're feeling uncomfortable or unsafe on nights out.
9. Know your limits
Welcome is an exciting time, there's lots to do and lots of mates to make, but you don't want to be the person that is throwing up on their new housemate's shoes and having to be brought home at 12am by a pissed off friend. Take it easy with the alcohol, have regular cups of water (also handy if you want to minimise the hangover), and make sure you've eaten before going out!
10. Check out Sheffield's drug monitoring website
If you do take illicit substances (i.e drugs) then we want to make sure you're as safe as possible. Start slow, wait for the effects, don't make the error of taking too much because you're impatient. Make sure your mates know what you're taking and don't mix your drugs or alcohol as this can have unknown impacts and makes you more likely to overdose. If you are struggling with drug addiction or abuse then you can get in touch with our advice service, who are non-judgemental and separate to the University, or get in touch with Sheffield's Drugs & Alcohol Coordination Team.
And that's about it. Have fun and stay safe out there!
If you're impacted by any of the topics in this article then you can either:
- Contact emergency services on 999 if you believe yourself to be in danger
- Contact our advice service if you would like some support