There is always a risk with taking drugs, but there are some things that you can do to reduce those risks. Whether you are planning to use at a dance party, a house party, a sex club or even alone, each context of use can bring up a range of different risks and experiences. Here are some tools for your drug use toolkit to practice safer use.
What is Safer Drug Use?
Hear from a range of alcohol and drug workers, drug users, community health workers and peer educators on what they think is safer drug use.
Take me to the River
When taking drugs it can be hard for your body to regulate its temperature. So it's important to drink water in moderation at all times.
The Talking Heads said what Al Green said about water... Take me to the River.
- This is probably the most common one you've heard. Drink plenty of water.
- If you're using stimulants like MDMA/Ecstacy, it's important not to over hydrate by drinking excessive amounts of water as this can lead to overdose. When taking drugs it can be hard for your body to regulate its temperature. So it's important to drink water in moderation at all times.
- If you are having a big night on the booze, try to always have a glass or bottle of water with you, this will really help with reducing the impact of a hangover.
Stand By Me
If you end up having a bad experience or reaction to what you've taken, it's important that a friend is with you can help out by telling others what you might have taken.
Ben E. King was all about solidarity.... Stand By Me
- If you're going to be partying, drinking or using drugs, it's always safer to stick togehter with friends and to let them know what you're doing and what you're taking.
- If you end up having a bad experience or reaction to what you've taken, it's important that a friend is with you can help out by telling others what you might have taken and to call for assistance. It this happens, call 000.
- In some situations where there is alcohol or drugs, the behavior and judgment of people can be affected and this can also increase the risk of potential danger or voilence. Try to always avoid engaging in siutations where your physical safety is at risk and being with friends who might be able to navigate this situation always helps.
Needle in the Hay
If you are injecting, it’s important to use clean injecting equipment and to avoid sharing needles or other injecting equipment.
Elliott Smith had big feels about finding a clean... Needle in the Hay
- Blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV can be transmitted through sharing equipment. So with that being said it’s important to be aware of where blood can end up. Blood may not only remain on or in needles and syringes but also on other equipment and surfaces such as your skin, on your hands or the top of a table. You can’t always see blood so don’t assume that just because you can’t see it that it isn’t there.
- Make sure you wash your hands and clean the area where you are preparing to inject.
- Injecting drug use and the sharing of equipment with others put you at increased risk of vein damage and permanent scarring, deep vein thrombosis and clots – this may result in the loss of limbs, damage to organs, stroke and possibly even death.
- For more information visit our Safer Injecting section.
Eat, eat eat
While you are in the process of partying, keep on feeding your body with food, it will help you recover and help you stay standing up.
Patti Smith was fierce about it... Eat, eat eat
- While you are in the process of partying, keep on feeding your body with food, it will help you recover and help you stay standing up.
- If you're going out, make sure you eat a big meal before you leave the house. You will thank yourself later.
- If you think your one night out could turn into a weekend or even longer, maybe prepare some other meals so you can come home to a full fridge of ready made meals and other nutritiuous goodies that will help with the comedown and help to restore your physical and mental health.
Keep a Lid On Things
Keep an eye on your own drug use and the drug use of your friends. Sometimes you can mix different drugs that actually don't go so well together and that can be dangerous.
Crash Test Dummies set limits... Keep a Lid On Things
- If you are planning to party it's important to set limits about your drug use and what you plan to do, how much you plan to take and what you'll get up to when that is happening.
- Keep an eye on your own drug use and the drug use of your friends when you are in the thick of it, it's easy to get carried away and sometimes you can take more than you wanted to, or start mixing drugs that actually don't go so well together and can be dangerous. Read up more on mixing drugs at our Alcohol and Drug section.
- Set limits about how much you will take, consider only taking that amount out with you and leaving the rest at home.
- Also, what will be your limits around when it's not fun anymore and it's actually starting to become a problem? It's different for everyone, but have a think about what your limits are and how you can track your drug use so that ir remains within those boundaries.