If you are think of using substances, please talk to someone you trust. (If it helps you, please talk to me even if we are not close.)
If you are willing to hear from someone who uses drugs, park your morals outside. (Pontificating and grandstanding are ineffective in preventing drug use; the priority is to keep your friends alive until they are ready to think about their situation.)
These are useful practices if you know anyone who takes substances.
1. Having a trip sitter is very important. (A trip sitter is the designated person who can stay sober.) In case of any emergency, the trip sitter is able to make the necessary calls and perform first aid.
Sit with the trip sitter while you’re sober to think about your emergency response. Whom will you call in a medical emergency? How will you get to the hospital? What number/s can you call? What will be the first response if you fall unconscious?
2. In many cases, drug users do drugs with sexual partners, so having a trip sitter might not necessarily be convenient.
However, having someone know what has been taken, how much, where it was taken, and at what time is critical. This can make the difference between life and death.
CALL (don’t text) someone you trust to give this information.
3. Agree on a check-in time with someone sober. For example, if you don’t call your friend to say that you are OK after 2 hours from taking any substance, agree that your friend will come knocking on your door to pick you up.
4. Tell someone you trust where you will be. Should it be necessary to look for you, your friend will know from where to start.
5. It’s true what your mum taught you as a kid: don’t take candy from strangers. Candy from strangers can fuck you up so badly, and they won’t feel an ounce of responsibility for you if anything should go wrong. (Even if they did, they won’t know whom to contact if you need any help.)
6. Don’t mix drugs, and don’t mix them with alcohol. It’s very dangerous.
7. If you can avoid it, don’t take drugs. They’re expensive, unsustainable, illegal, and very bad for the skin.
8. If you have already taken substances, though, please talk to someone immediately so risks can be mitigated.
I know it might be embarrassing, but that’s totally OK. It’s better than pushing through that embarrassment only for you to end up in so much pain or even death.