Before the Winter Holiday season ends and the New Year’s Eve festivities begin, it is important for each and every one of us to make plans to safely usher in 2019. New Year’s Eve is one of the major party events of the calendar year. Many of us enjoy and eagerly anticipate of welcoming a new year in the company of our family, friends or both. For some it is a custom or tradition and for others it is a reunion and renewal of contacts with those we rarely see.
No matter what category our reason for being festive may be, it is our individual responsibility to ensure the health and safety not only of ourselves but also the ones that we love.
Some consume alcohol to be relaxed and to be social. There are among us a few who abuse this custom and in doing so become hazardous not only to themselves but countless numbers of others. If we need to drive an automobile, then we also need to consume alcoholic beverages in a reasonable and safe manner.
One driving safety technique to utilize when partying with friends throughout the year is to have a designated driver. This individual agrees not to consume alcohol or drugs during the course of the evening, thus ensuring a sober driver. Alternate the designated driver responsibility throughout the year so this burden isn’t held by just one person. Some bars, restaurants, public houses, etc. offer meal discounts and other incentives to the designated driver(s) in a group.
Another strategy is to moderate alcohol consumption and to plan ahead and make a meal as a part of the evening celebration. Although human nature being what it naturally is, this strategy isn’t as effective when the best intentions fall by the wayside.
Have alternate transportation arrangements as a plan. Use a taxi, public transportation or other options to get home after a celebration.
If there is even the slightest possibility that physical intimacy is an option during the evening festivities, plan ahead for this by having what is necessary to practice safer sex should the occasion present itself. This includes having several latex or polyurethane condoms and personal lubricant on hand. One mistake is often all that it takes to turn a pleasant evening into a disaster.
Be proactive. Don’t depend on your sexual partner to supply what’s necessary for sexual safety. Take control and make sure that condoms and lubricant are ready when you need them. Nothing can dampen a special moment faster than having to get dressed and rush to a local pharmacy and buy condoms and/or lubricant.
Remember: Lotions are not condom-friendly. Lotions compromise the structure of the condom leaving them ineffective in preventing disease transmission.
The use of alcohol and drugs impair judgment. Not only do they make protection less likely, but also the risk that the condom may be torn while being put on or the risk that it may be used incorrectly. Intoxication through alcohol or drug use does not excuse irresponsible behavior.
Make plans now to have a safe, happy and pleasant New Year’s Eve celebration. We all have a new year to look forward to. Make it a healthy one!