Let’s be honest, no matter how experienced someone is, there’s always a risk when it comes to recreational drug use. Since this October marks the 10th anniversary of National Substance Abuse Month, we wanted to offer up the best tips to keep yourself, and your friends, or anyone around you as safe as possible. At Reality Sandwich, we never encourage illegal drug use, but we are aware that it does happen. With that said, we believe it’s important to share this drug safety information with everyone to empower people and help reduce the risks of potential harm or danger. So, with that being said, here are our top 6 drug safety tips:
1. Pick a Safe Setting
Where you are and who you’re with can help you ensure that you’re in a safe space before getting high. This can include being with someone who can assist you in case of a bad trip or a place that you can move around in without endangering yourself. In general, try to avoid busy streets, unsafe heights, and bodies of water while under the influence — especially if you’re alone.
2. Mindset Over Matter
Like most experienced users will tell you, it’s important to feel in control or at least comfortable with your mindset before you take your trip. Rarely does an anxious mind and an acid trip go well together. Having a trusted friend can help, along with some other tips on turning bad trips around.
3. Intention Matters
Like your mindset, setting a positive intention for your high or trip can help ensure you have a better, safer experience. In an article published in Vice, Suzannah Weiss writes,
“People who professionally guide psychedelic journeys generally recommend creating an intention before any psychedelic experience in order to maximize your chances of getting what you’d like out of it. The idea behind setting an intention is that staking a trip on a set idea helps keep you focused on what matters to you or helps you find peace and meaning.”
4. Be Conscious of Dosage and Mixes
Like taking any substance, the dosage is important. It’s definitely a science, not an art. And be sure to listen to yourself and your body. If you feel like you’re at your limit, don’t feel like you have to take it anymore (being in a safe environment will eliminate the likelihood of peer pressure). Also, as a rule of thumb, don’t mix drugs with alcohol, certain medications, or even grapefruit.
5. Test the Substance
Shady dealings sometimes happen, so before you use, check the substance with a drug test. A 2011-2013 drug-checking program from DanceSafe reports that “about half of all powders or pills that users indicated were ‘Molly’ contained no MDMA at all. Furthermore, in New York in 2013, results from the DEA indicate that only 9% of all chemical analysis of ‘Molly’ samples exhibit MDMA.” While the program specifically discussed Molly, this is true of most substances.
6. Be Informed and Prepared in Case Things Go WrongIf you see a friend who is overdosing, know that their safety and survival are highly affected by how quickly they can get help. If you’re worried about an opioid overdose (whether it’s yourself or someone around you), try to have Narcan on hand — you can get this over the counter now. If you need to call 911, don’t let fear back you out of it. Get familiar with your area’s Good Samaritan Law, and read this Healthline article to learn how you can help someone in this situation.