Reducing the risk
Sabina Dosani talks frankly about how to minimise the risk of taking drugs
- By: Sabina Dosani
Risks associated with taking drugs vary depending on the drug and how it is taken. Swallowing, smoking, or inhaling are safer than injecting, though still not risk free. Once a drug has been ingested, effects can be delayed for 1-2 hours and may be stronger than anticipated. Injecting is riskier because there is a greater chance of overdose, infection (HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C), abscesses, thromboses, septicaemia, gangrene, and death.
Who is taking the drug and where the drug is taken will also influence the chance of an adverse effect occuring. For example, taking drugs with friends is safer than being alone. It is risky to take drugs in isolated places like toilets, derelict buildings, canal banks, and railway lines.
All drugs-including coffee, cannabis, and cocaine-can lead to dependence. Stimulants or “uppers”-like amphetamine, ecstasy, and cocaine-are particularly dangerous if users have cardiac problems or hypertension. They are also more