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How can I reduce harm from alcohol and drug use?

Here are some ways to reduce the risks of drug use:

  • Know the drug(s) you are taking. Be aware of the potential short- and long-term effects of any drug you take.
  • Don't take drugs at parties or clubs. If you choose to drink (even water), know where your cup is at all times; you don't want any drugs added to it.
  • Don't mix drugs. Mixing can dangerously multiply the effects. It's particularly dangerous to mix alcohol with other depressants, such as tranquilizers, opiates, and narcotics (pain medicine).
  • Know your body's limits and reactions. Don't try to gauge the amount you take by what others take, or even by what you were able to consume on other occasions.
  • NEVER share needles or other injection equipment. Using unclean equipment can spread many diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
  • Be aware of how your choices may influence other key areas of your life. Ask yourself whether your use of alcohol or other drugs is affecting your finances, your relationships and family life, and your work; ask yourself whether you could get into legal trouble because of the drugs you use.
  • Find other ways to reduce stress, cope with life, heal, and have fun.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.