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Harm Reduction

Here at PsyCare Ireland, we are passionate about harm reduction.

 

Harm reduction is a pragmatic response to both legal and illegal drug use, grounded in a human rights and public health framework. While we advise that the only absolutely safe way to avoid harms from drug use is not to use them, harm reduction advocates practical responses to reduce the harms associated with drug use, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about what drugs they consume and how they consume them.

We believe that in order to make informed choices people need credible and high quality information. With information people can reduce the risk, and therefore the harm, associated with the use of drugs.

The drugs that most frequently cause difficulties at the events we visit are the psychedelics LSD and psilocybin, followed by Ketamine and MDMA.

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What are the differences between these drugs?

Psychedelic drugs are generally considered to be of low-risk physically, but create significant alterations in perception, mood and cognition. For this reason, the mind-set of the user and the setting or environment the experience takes place in, play a vital role.

Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic. Though not generally considered a psychedelic drug, at higher doses uses can experience effects similar to those produced by the classical psychedelics.

MDMA is a substituted amphetamine which can have both stimulant and psychedelic effects. It is commonly described as an ‘entactogen’ or ‘empathogen’. This is because of the feelings of empathy, love and euphoria which are commonly reported by people who use it. 

MDMA can also be dangerous, particularly when:

  1. Too much MDMA is consumed

  2. MDMA is mixed with alcohol, other drugs or prescription medications

  3. It is taken in an unsuitable environment.
     

For comprehensive MDMA harm reduction information check out www.rollsafe.org

The resources that appear on this page will generally, but not exclusively, relate to drugs that produce psychedelic effects. Please see below for websites that provide extensive harm reduction resources covering all drugs. We will endeavour to continue to publish articles that you will find interesting and informative. If there is anything you would like to see here, or feel you have something to contribute, then please contact us.

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Other excellent harm reduction resouces:

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Drug Combinations

Reagent testing is an excellent way to reduce the risks of using drugs. With the ability to instantly see if what you have bought is fake or even unusually dangerous it’s much easier to make better decisions about drug use.

Check out Tripsit’s excellent drug combination chart which sets out the relative risk of mixing two drugs. There is also an app version here.

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Alongside a highly recommended podcast, the guys at Psychedelics Today run an online course called Navigating Psychedelics: Lessons on Self-Care & Integration.

Tripsit Drug Combination Chart

Useful Articles on Harm Reduction