Preventing Overdose

Harm reduction measures help people who use drugs, to use them in a way that decreases their chances of the potential negative outcomes. Help decrease their chances of overdose by following these steps:

  1. Use with a friend
    Try to avoid using at the same time in case one of you needs help. Also, do not share needles or other equipment.
  2. Avoid mixing drugs
    Risk of overdose goes up when more than one drug is used, especially when opioids are mixed with alcohol or benzos. Try to use one drug at a time.
  3. Do a tester and ask around
    Drug quality and potency can change a lot depending on where it comes from (even from dealers you know). Monitor how the drug tastes, smells and looks – is it different than usual? Try a small test amount first, you can always use more.
  4. Know your tolerance
    If you haven’t used for a while (3 days or more), your body can’t handle the same amount as before. Use less at one time.
  5. Have a plan
    Talk about overdose before it happens and with people you trust. Let someone know before you use and ask them to check on you.
  6. Have naloxone on site
    Have at least one naloxone kit with you, while using any illicit substance. While naloxone only helps with opioid overdose, opioids are being found in many non-opioid drugs. More information about where to find a naloxone kit.