Mardi Gras 2021: Partying in a pandemic


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While getting sweaty on the dancefloor isn't an option this year, owing to COVID-19 safety restrictions, other safety measures still apply if you are planning to party this Mardi Gras festival.

Mardi Gras Festival has been scaled back this year in response to the COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings and dancefloors, meaning some of its annual party events like The Party, Sissy Ball and Family Fun Day have been cancelled. To ensure the safety of all participants, the iconic annual parade will go ahead televised from the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), the parade was usually held travelling along Oxford Street to the SCG.

While people gather to catch the parade on Saturday 6 March at covid-safe celebrations at home, it's important to stay safe, watch for signs of over-doing it and get help immediately.

Staying safe while partying

Make your Mardi Gras experience one to remember with these top tips to party safely:

  • If you're drinking alcohol, keep track of how many drinks you've had to avoid injury or making yourself sick. Consider having a water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Using illicit drugs like MDMA / ecstasy or GHB comes with risks. You don't know the purity, what other things have been added to them, the strength or how it will affect you. Avoid mixing drugs, including alcohol.
  • Mixing alcohol with GHB can cause you to lose consciousness, check out ACON's Avoid the Drop Zone campaign for more information. It's important to tell someone you trust what you've taken, and to get help immediately if it's needed.
  • Look after your mates. If your friends show signs or intoxication or overdose get help immediately by calling Triple Zero (000). Get familiar with the signs and symptoms of drug overdose.

Warning signs and symptoms of overdose

Make sure you're familiar with the symptoms you've overdone it or the signs that someone needs help. If you see these warning signs, get help fast by calling Triple Zero (000).

Warning signs and symptoms of overdose may include:

  • Feeling really hot / overheating
  • Rigid muscles, tremors or spasms
  • Clenched jaw or gurning
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty walking
  • Severe agitation or panic
  • Having difficulty breathing
  • Fast racing pulse / heart
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Unconsciousness

More information on Drug safety and overdose. Read PivotPoint's Partying in a Pandemic: Staying Covid-Safe Over Mardi Gras for 14 tips and information to be aware of while you enjoy the 2021 festival. For other resources and information also visit PivotPoint's Party and play page.

For free and confidential advice 24/7 call the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide information, referrals, crisis counselling and support. Or start a Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm. ADIS can also provide up-to-date information about service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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