Whether or not you use drugs personally, it is important to be aware of their risks and how to ensure that you might be able to help someone else if they have taken anything. Drugs are used for many different reasons - people may use recreationally as part of a night out, they may use drugs to alter their mood, to improve athletic performance or students may even feel that they can take drugs as a way of improving acdemic performance.
Whatever substance is used, there is no excuse for not being aware of the effects and possible dangers of drug use. There is an enormous amount of helpful information about drugs, their effects and the risks available online - FRANK is by far one of the best resources available, offering confidential support, a free helpline and online chat service as well as extremely useful information about many different substances,
The best method of harm reduction is not taking drugs at all, especially as you can never be sure what substances you may actually be consuming and what effect this will have on you. Taking drugs always carries a risk and can potentially be harmful, however if you or someone you know does choose to take them, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you avoid as much harm as possible:
- Start with a small amount, e.g. a dab or quater/half a pill
- Don’t be afraid of seeking help and being honest about what you have taken
- Avoid mixing drugs, especially with alcohol
- Look after friends, if they are sleeping or unconscious, put them in the recovery position
- Tell someone you are with what you have taken
- Try to use with trusted friends in a safe environment, especially if it’s your first time.
Release, a national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, is another great source of information in this area.
Locally, you can seek support on drug use or addiction from Sheffield DACT either online, via telephone (0114 272 1481) or in person at our Welfare Thursday drop-in sessions. Also, the Non-Opiates Service offers assessment, support and interventions to people using any non-opiate drug.