I am using multiple substances most weekends, am I at risk of overdose?
Many people use multiple substances at the weekend, particularly young people. There is a risk of overdose when using multiple substances at the same time, whether you are mixing between the same substance groups or not (i.e depressants and depressants, or depressants and stimulants etc). We would always advise against using any substances together, but if you plan to use click here for harm reduction advice for specific drug groups. If you plan to use opiates, ensure you carry a Naloxone kit.
I am using with friends, sometimes we buy together and share. Is this ok?
Being out with friends creates an atmosphere of safety and trust which is a great protective factor when going out and using substances in a social setting. It is important to remember though that everyone’s tolerance is different, and using in rounds or sharing will often lead to getting more intoxicated than intended. We would advise that you obtain your own substances and keep to your own pace where possible. Its important to remember that sharing with friends can bring about dangerous risks. First time users of a substance my have lowered tolerance and should be discouraged from indulging too much. Comparatively, people with a higher tolerance may be spurred on to use at higher levels and introduce more substance types to “keep the pace”: this should also be discouraged. The key point is to reduce the harm by reducing the amount being used; ultimately reducing risk of overdose.
No one knows about my substance use so I use alone. Is this risky?
Yes it is risky to use substances alone; if something goes wrong or you accidentally overdose there is no one around to offer help or to phone an ambulance. It’s safer to use substances with someone you trust or to let someone know what you are planning
to use substances so that they can offer support.
I am using multiple substances most days of the week
When using multiple substances throughout the week its important to consider your life around your substance use. Are you working daily and/or driving? Are you caring for children or siblings under the age of 18? Are you a fulltime carer for a vulnerable adult? All of these questions should be considered and answers to each can be reasons to stop or make changes to your current use.
I am using multiple substances daily
If you find yourself using everyday then maybe it could be time to look at reducing the harm you are doing to yourself. Everyday use usually follows a pattern, whether that be self-medicating trauma, escaping reality, binging, numbing pain, battling ongoing mental health issues, escaping violence. There are innumerable reasons people use multiple substances; reducing the amounts of different substance types can help clarity in identifying and addressing underlying triggers for use. Looking to the future can cement your progress and build up recovery capital to strengthen your resolve against a relapse.
My child is using multiple substances, what can I do?
This can be very worrying, it’s important to remember that help is available for you and your child. If you discover that your child is using substances, we can provide free harm reduction advice and materials aimed at children and young adults. DDAS can also offer help in the form of concerned other support for you. A concerned other is a person that is affected by a loved one’s substance use and is looking for advice and support. DDAS provide a safe place for you to discuss your concerns, increase your understanding of the effects of substances and receive ongoing support from professionals that are trained to support you and your child.
Someone I know/love is using multiple substances, what support is available to them?
A concerned other is someone who is affected by a loved one’s substance use. Discovering that your closest friend, relative or partner is using substances can elicit a number of feelings and emotions, fear, anger and confusion. If your loved one is using multiple substances, it’s important for them to have the correct information and ideally seek help and guidance from a support service to reduce the overall risks and potential harm to themselves and others. Many services offer an open access where they can informally call in to talk with a professional. Without judgement, a worker will help to identify goals, plan how to achieve them and maintain through recovery.
I am addicted to using one or more substances, what are the long term effects?
Using multiple substances increases stress on your organs namely the brain, liver and heart. Long term use can also lead to physical and psychological dependence which may make it harder to reduce or stop using substances in the future. If you are worried about your use or would like some advice about how to reduce/stop safely, contact your local substance use service (For Dyfed residents, please call 0330 363 9997).
When I use cocaine and MDMA together, I notice that my heart beats really fast. Is this normal?
Cocaine and MDMA are both stimulants which means they speed up the central nervous system (increases blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature) Using these substances together puts significant pressure on your heart which can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. To reduce harm, avoid mixing these substances. If you feel unwell when using then seek medical attention. Click here for more harm reduction advice.
SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE
If you feel any of the Harm Reduction here speaks to you and you feel you need help, make your next move a positive one.
For Dyfed Residents please contact:
Dyfed Drug & Alcohol Service on 0330 363 9997.
Learn to Turn Back to safety and if you do Poly Use, tread carefully.