Not everyone will experiment with drugs, but some people will. While this may not always lead to problematic use, any amount of drugs can have adverse effects on our mental and physical health.
Using drugs often can have unexpected negative consequences because you’re never 100% sure what’s in the drug and how you will react.
All drugs affect us in ways we can often underestimate. Different people will react differently to different drugs, resulting in individual effects and experiences. The factors that can influence the effect of drugs include:
- the amount and how quickly it is taken;
- whether a drug has been previously used;
- whether it has been mixed with other drugs or with alcohol;
- mood prior to use;
- general health and body type, gender and age.
It is particularly dangerous to take drugs if you:
- are on your own;
- are ill, very tired or depressed;
- are on medication;
- have a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, mental illness or heart disease.
If you decide to take drugs, keep these points in mind to reduce the risks associated with drug misuse:
- Reduce the risk to your health and safety by finding out as much as you can about the effects of different drugs and then decide if it’s really worth it.
- It’s not a good idea to take other drugs to help you come down as this increases the risk of overdose. Downers are particularly dangerous when combined with alcohol.
- Always carry a condom. Never risk unprotected sex.
- Mixing alcohol and drugs, or different types of drugs can be dangerous and should be avoided.
- Be careful if buying/accepting drugs from someone you don’t know. Are you sure you know exactly what drug you are getting and whether there is anything else mixed in with it?
- If you or a friend have had a bad reaction to any substance taken, call an ambulance or get to an emergency department as soon as possible.
- Never drive if you’ve taken drugs.
- Plan ahead: know where you are going, how much money you need and how you are getting home.
Drugs and the law
- Most drugs are illegal which means you could be charged for possession.
- Giving drugs to a friend can constitute supplying drugs, which could get you a prison sentence and an unlimited fine.
- Even if you only get a caution, you will have a criminal record. You risk destroying your future job prospects.
For further information go to www.talktofrank.com
You can find information about drug services in Northern Ireland here.
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