Safer Drug Use By and large there is no safe way to take drugs, in that there is always an element of risk involved, not that it ever stopped anyone. However, if you are going to use drugs, here are some things to think about . . . . Expand We feel we should point out that Build on Belief does not, in anyway advocate for the use of drugs, whether legal or illegal. We are a charity with a strong harm minimisation focus, and the best form of harm minimisation is not to do something in the first place! Having said that, we are almost exclusively staffed by a team with several hundred years of lived experience of addiction, and not only are we not in a position to preach, we recognise that 'doing the sensible thing' is hardly a universal human trait. Therefore, if you are going to use drugs, here are a few things to think about . . . . The purity of drugs change all the time. If it's a new batch or from a different dealer, test the strength first. Don't ever use drugs alone. Try and buy your drugs from a trusted source. When in doubt, use small amounts. You can always take more, but you can never take less. If you think a substance hasn't worked, wait at least an hour, or better yet two, before taking anymore. Drugs can take longer to take effect than you think, and people have overdosed by being too hasty. Where at all possible, don't inject. Many drugs can be smoked, snorted or eaten, and the potential health risks are lower using these routes of administration. If you're going to use drugs, be certain you can trust the people you are using with. Intoxication can make you vulnerable to abuse or exploitation. Be sensible, and don't take unnecessary risks. If trying a substance that you have never used before, make sure the person you are with knows what you have taken, and if possible has some experience of using that substance. A drug doesn't always make you feel the way you think it will (LSD being a famous example) and if you don't like it, you'll need some support. Make an effort to understand the risks associated with the use of a specific substance. For example, it is important if you are taking ecstasy and dancing at a rave, that you hydrate with reasonable amounts of water on a regular basis. We know you have internet access because you are reading this, so do a little research! Why not start with www.talktofrank.com? There are wider risks to substance use, and understanding them can help you make an informed decision. If, for example, you are an overweight and middle-aged man with heart problems, then hoovering up lines of cocaine is likely to be risky! Don't mix substances. The potential for thinks to go wrong increase greatly when you mix and match. Make sure you eat properly beforehand, especially if you're planning a heavy night out. You're body needs all the help it can get! Make sure you get some proper sleep, and don't try to stay up for two or three nights at a time. Sleep deprivation can seriously impair you judgement, and lead you into making decisions you might well regret later. If you're not feeling well, don't use. The human body isn't designed for drug use, and if you're not feeling up to scratch, the risk of unintended consequences increases. If you are not using at home, before starting, make sure you know how you are going to get back, and don't drive!