When it comes to using recreational drugs there are a lot of things to consider in order to reduce potential harm. Luckily for you, we’ve broken some of these things down into 3 broad categories with questions for you to consider before you use a drug.
Just Say KNOW!
KNOW your motivation for using a drug
- Do you feel comfortable taking it and is it your own decision?
- If you feel you are being pressured into taking it how do you feel about being pressured to behave a certain way?
- Are you using it to pull yourself out of or put yourself into a particular mental state?
KNOW the potential outcomes and consequences
- Do you know how the drug is affecting your body?
- Do you know how long these effects will last?
- Do you know what to expect from the come-down, if there is one?
- Are you currently using any other drugs (including alcohol) or medications that might interact negatively with what you are taking?
- Are there are any potential risks of obtaining and using a drug that hasn’t been prescribed to you?
- Are you going to be in the company of people you trust and are comfortable with when you use it?
- Illicit drugs are not regulated by any health organization. Many substances may not be pure and therefore it may not be possible to predict how you will react.
KNOW you’re in control
- Are you aware that ultimately it’s your decision and that you’re able to stop at any time?
- Are you confident that taking a drug won’t make you a danger to yourself and/or others?
- Are you in a safe and comfortable environment which makes it less likely that you’ll experience overwhelming negative emotions?
Note: This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to think about in order to reduce harm. It’s always important to make sure you have researched into whatever you might be taking and are knowledgeable about any potential outcomes. Here are some great resources to start your search at if you are looking for info:
- Trippin': This well-researched drug guide by Head & Hands takes a harm reduction approach to drugs - as they put it: if you are going to take drugs, don't go into it blindly!
- Dancesafe: The Drug Info tab of the DanceSafe website offers easy to understand information on a variety of recreational drugs ranging from how the drug works, to risks associated with it, to harm reduction strategies when using it .
- Drugs.com: This website has information on almost any drug you can think of from prescription medications to controlled substances. They also have an Interactions Checker if you’re wanting to know how certain drugs might interact with any medications, alcohol, or other drugs you might be thinking of using simultaneously.