A step by step guide on how to be the best buddy guard

Published Oct 29, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / artisteer

Suppose you haven't yet heard of buddy circles. In that case, we highly recommend you slide on over to our article "The evolution of substance safety from designated driver to buddy circles" because it offers some excellent insight into how it all began, but if you've come because you've been asked to fill the position of a buddy guard for your friend(s), then this is an excellent place to get started because here, we've compiled this list of ten simple steps to guide you in the right direction.

1. Stay sober

This is the number one rule that every buddy guard should live by, as it's the safest way to stay on top of your game, just in case someone you're caring for finds themselves in a bit of a pickle. Of course, some long term stoners would disagree with this logic. If your tolerance is so high that you feel confident in your abilities while impaired, then you're probably relatively safe to partake, but if you are at all nervous about what the events of the night may bring, then it's much safer just to stay sober.

2. Be attentive

When you're asked to watch over someone whose getting stoned, one of the best things that you can do is stay alert, and this is especially true if the person in question is brand new to pot products. As we all know, first-time experiences can sometimes go sideways fast, but if you're watching closely, you might be able to help them to avoid it by merely being present both physically and mentally.

3. Have fun

When you're friends are relying on you to help them out by offering an extra layer of security, it can be frustrating watching everyone have the time of their lives when you're sitting in the back 100% sober. That is why it's essential to focus a little bit on yourself too. No one, and especially not someone who is high, is going to want to deal with a negative Nacy in exchange for these essential services, so dance, laugh, play some games, and do whatever you feel you need to stay lifted the whole night through without weed.

4. Play moderator (within reason)

The role of a buddy guard is essential, but it's also hard to tell where exactly to draw the line. Do you stop them from indulging if they seem to have gone too far, and if they decide to start combining drugs, are you supposed to step in? The answer to these questions might depend on the relationship you have with the rest of your buddy circle, but in general, yes. You should be doing your absolute best to advise by gently making fair and reasonable suggestions. Of course, you can't force them to listen, but you should still try to moderate the situation.

5. Preplan everyone's ride home

Whether or not you plan to partake, sometimes getting everyone home can be a challenge, and that is especially true if your buddy circle is large. You might have room in your car to get a few people home, but if not, alternate plans might need to be made, and it's best to make all of these decisions, long before you head out to have fun. Before you leave, you should know exactly how everyone is going to get home to avoid impaired driving, which is a danger on the roads.

6. Know what to do if things get uncomfortable


Have you ever had to deal with a friend who got way too high? Or perhaps you have fallen victim to this unfortunate type of situation. It can happen when someone uses too much cannabis or has a lower tolerance to cannabinoids, and it can be scary if you aren't prepared to deal with it. Though we highly recommend keeping local emergency numbers on hand just in case, an impromptu hospital trip will be far less likely to happen if you know how to calm and relieve the symptoms of a cannabis overdose.

7. Don't agree to the task unless you're 100% comfortable with it

Even the mildest psychedelics like cannabis can make some people nervous due to a lack of understanding or previous exposure, and that's ok. However, for those who are sensitive or anxious about what could happen while the people around them are getting high, a buddy guard likely isn't an ideal job. This is because your nervousness could cause a chain-like reaction and make those around you restless or agitated. A buddy guard should always be a calming presence, so if you can't do that, it's best to decline such a request politely.

8. Carry plenty of water and snacks

This might sound like an incredibly basic thing to do. You may assume that wherever you'll be, your group will be able to find these things if they were needed. Still, you're here because you want to be the best buddy guard you can be, and if you want everyone to have a good time, providing the smallest and most basic comforts for your stoned friends is one of the most excellent ways to do that. This, of course, doesn't mean you have to provide a three-course meal, but a few bottles of water and some salty protein-rich snacks surely wouldn't hurt.

9. Invite another buddy guard to help

Being the only sober person in the room isn't always the most pleasant experience, but you can remedy that by making sure that you aren't alone in this endeavour. Bring a good friend along for the ride, or have the participants see if they know anyone who might be down for a weed-free evening to keep you company. This way, you'll feel like you're on the same level as someone else, and you'll have an extra set of hands to help in case you or anyone in your buddy circle needs it.

10. If you sign up for the job, don't bail last minute

The best buddy guard is reliable and trustworthy because part of the job description is that they're responsible for the well being of people they genuinely care about. If someone has asked you to play this important role, then you must show up if you agree. Otherwise, you'll be leaving your friends unprotected, and if they've already got plans in place, then they're likely to end up going all by themselves, which defeats the purpose of them asking in the first place.

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