Polysubstance Drug use
The use of more than one drug, also known as polysubstance use, is common. This includes when two or more are taken together or within a short time period, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Intentional polysubstance use occurs when a person takes a drug to increase or decrease the effects of a different drug or wants to experience the effects of the combination. Unintentional polysubstance use occurs when a person takes drugs that have been mixed or cut with other substances, like fentanyl, without their knowledge.
Whether intentional or not, mixing drugs is never safe because the effects from combining drugs may be stronger and more unpredictable than one drug alone, and even deadly.
The dangers of polysubstance use also apply to prescription drugs. Never take pills that did not come from a pharmacy and weren’t prescribed to you.
New Mexico Harm Reduction Act – On February 28, 2022, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham today signed House Bill 52, which modernizes the state’s Harm Reduction Act to better serve communities and improve the health of New Mexicans. The legislation amends the Harm Reduction Act to allow the New Mexico Department of Health and organizations across the state to distribute fentanyl test strips and other drug testing devices. For more information visit the NM Department of Health.
National Harm Reduction Coalition – The biggest risk factor is that people are often exposed unintentionally and don’t know to take the proper precautions to use this drug safely. If someone chooses to use fentanyl, the National Harm Reduction Coalition provides these practices to help minimize the risk of an overdose.
- Take it slow and use less
- Try snorting or smoking instead of injecting to reduce risk
- Practice extra caution
- Carry naloxone
- Test your supply
- Listen to your body: Hydrate, eat and rest
Safety First, from Stanford Medicine Halpern Flesher REACH lab, is meant for high school students. The curriculum is particularly relevant for students already using, for students at-risk for using, and/or for students living in communities in which there are high levels of drug use. The curriculum is designed to be used in classrooms or group settings. Safety First | Halpern-Felsher REACH Lab | Stanford Medicine
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