Harm reduction – the basics

Here’s our top harm reduction tips that you should use every time you plan on using drugs, whether its coke, ketamine, MDMA or something else entirely. If you want harm reduction advice for specific substances, check out our party drugs page.

Time to Test

Each time you buy drugs you should get them tested. You can do this by sending off a sample to WEDINOS. If you’re unsure what to do with your results you can read this guide. Just because your drugs look legit, it doesn’t mean that they are.

Mind Your Mood

The effects of drugs will change depending on your mood. If you’re feeling down or anxious, it’s probably best to save your stash for another day. This is particularly important with psychedelics.

Consider Your Environment

Getting too spangled in a hectic environment can be really unpleasant. Think about whether the drugs you plan on taking suit wherever you’re going. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, find a quiet spot to chill out.

Start Low, Take It Slow

Start with a low dose and wait at least an hour (preferably two) before you redose. This gives you time to gauge how strong your drugs are and whether there’s any strange effects that suggest your drugs might have been mis-sold.

Avoid Mixing

Mixing drugs increase the risks of taking drugs. This includes alcohol. You can check how dangerous certain drug combinations are with this tool.

Keep Hydrated

Drinking enough water is really important if you’re using drugs (particularly stimulants and alcohol) and will make the effects of a comedown or hangover far less bad the next day. Sipping a pint every hour is recommended if you’re dancing.

Look After Your Mates

Tell your mates what you’re taking so they can inform paramedics if something goes wrong. If your mate looks like their having a rough time, take them somewhere quiet and calm if possible. If they’re falling unconscious, are having a seizure or can’t be cooled down, ring 999- you won’t get in trouble for doing this.

Practice Safe Sex

Always carry condoms and make sure you use them if you decide to have sex to protect again STIs and pregnancy. Make sure whoever you’re having sex with has consented and are not too intoxicated to do so.

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