December 31st is one of maybe three nights a year that non-party people decide to give “drugs + dance music” a spin, even though they may not be a fan for the other 360ish days of the year. Thousands of bloggers will post articles about how those junior varsity people should party to be safe. This article is not for them.
For the rest of us, NYE can feel like the kiddie table at Thanksgiving or the gym on January 1st. While everyone else needs to remember to stick to champagne & not champagne + Vodka/Tequila, Jameson/Jack or Busch Light, Burners & other party people have more sophisticated concerns. To that end, here’s a quick set of tips for the Varsity party people out there, such that you can still have a better evening than they will, even if you’re stuck in the same room with them for 7 hours.
The single, most important thing you can do to keep CAPTAIN HOT MESS from happening on New Year’s Eve is to have a chemical plan. This isn’t just remembering to only drink brown liquor, not to chug your glass of champagne and that you will probably need a snack more substantial than the crudité plate you’ve been nursing. This is figuring out what drugs and/or alcohol you’ll be doing in the 24-72hrs between whenever you wake up on December 31st to whenever you go to sleep on Jan 1st (2nd for you heroic types). Factors that you should take into account include:
- How long do you want to be partying? (coke only lasts for 45 minutes vs. crystal meth lasts for longer than you want it to)
- How social do you want to be? (ketamine may be pretty, but it’s not exactly conversation inducing)
- Do you want any extraordinary effects? (pretty colors, melty floors, hyper-dimensional travel, conversations with the machine elves)
- HOW MANY HOURS UNTIL YOU NEED TO BE SOBER?
A critical mistake people make is, having a chemical plan, but not a metabolite plan. Ever enjoyed coke & alcohol? That was cocaethylene you were enjoying. The reason why you can’t get to sleep after Crystal Meth but you can sleep fine on Ritalin? That’s because methamphetamine metabolizes into amphetamine. These downstream metabolites can sometimes be just as potent as the original chemical, so don’t play yourself.
Tethered to this, the always relevant axiom: Research. Do Some. That anyone would go into a chemical, psychedelic or substance enhanced experience without knowing what the drug will do is as irresponsible as not asking your doctor what they’re putting you on and taking it anyway. I’ve seen hundreds of party people happily take whatever they’re being handed at an event, and I know for a fact these people wouldn’t take a prescription from an MD if you paid them. TripSit, Erowid, DanceSafe and even the National Institutes of Health has info on this. This isn’t just knowing how drugs interact with alcohol, but also knowing how the different drugs you’re doing interact with each other. In general, combining CNS depressing substances leads to Michael Jackson/Heath Ledger/Brittany Murphy-level problems. Combining stimulants leads to erratic behavior, paranoia, heart murmurs and heatstroke, if you’re not properly hydrating. If you think you’ll be able to properly hydrate once in the middle of a heavily stimulated state, or control your sleep aid/painkiller/benzo intake, you probably can’t. If you’re one of the rare Burners that uses either crystal meth or vicodin recreationally and haven’t ruined your life, this advice is probably below your paygrade, so carry on.
This all being said, Know When Your Chemical Plan Was A Bad Idea. This is more related to psychedelics than anything else, but vibes are vibes. Try to hold off on serious use until you get to the place you’re at and check it out. This not only ensures you’re not driving intoxicated early in the evening, but that you actually leave the house. More importantly, if you get to a party, and the vibe is massively different than what you were expected, but you’re already coming up, mayday. This has happened to my people on more than one occasion. You get to a warehouse and it’s a little too raw for the psychedelic you were planning on? Don’t drop.
Seriously. Don’t feel socially obligated to stay anywhere, consume anything or go to the next place. It’s just another night, there will always be another party. Trust that unless you’re Keith Richards, no one will think worse of you if you refuse the bump or tab or whatever. The cokeheads will be glad there’s more for them, the acid freaks will embrace your insight and the kids in K-holes won’t even know you’re there. If anyone pressures you, they’re awful and should take a long walk off a short pier.
Related to this, for the sparkle ponies out there, Don’t expect the party to be tailored to your expectations, even if you’re a really important person. Don’t assume what parties will be like before you get there, as this is NYE and all bets are off. Not just to you but the people around you. Complaining loudly about how the event didn’t match the snowglobe you’ve got in your head is not only annoying, it is potentially destabilizing to people in earshot. This night is for everyone, even the people you don’t think deserve to be at the party. Or, as the EDM generation puts it:
Conversation about boundaries and affirmative consent before hand and interface with chemical plan. New Year’s Eve is no excuse for unwanted attention or boundary violations. If you’ve just started seeing someone, there’s no better time to make sure you understand how both of you experience the drugs you’re planning on taking. It might seem “less magical” to bring these up before hand, but it’s important to remember that consent and intoxicants can be a very tricky subject. There’s a big difference between stealing a kiss at midnight as the bubbles go to your head and bringing a grossly intoxicated person home with you. For our readers heading to playful & sexy events, it’s important to confirm what kind of play you want to engage in, and who you’re planning on playing with. Negotiation is always possible during the night, but it gets easier to slip up with each drink. Conversely, for fuck’s sake bring a condom (or 3). Don’t be the guy who makes the cab stop at a deli.
If you can help it, don’t try to negotiate sober reality until you have to. Far too many people pack their night with shit, get fucked up, then wonder why their night got terrible. If you’re taking things, try your hardest to stay in one place for however long they’re supposed to last. Finally, know how you’re getting from event to event before you leave the house. Don’t fall prey to the Annual Uber Price Gouge. Uber is not a way to get home on NYE unless you’ve got Wu-Tang Clan Album money.
I could keep going, but y’all know what you’re doing. Be safe, have fun, don’t drink & roll, test your shit and hug the people you love. See everyone in 2016!