Smoking Crack Safely

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smoking crack safely

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Safer Smoking: Crack and crystal meth

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Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Information People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol are slave to substance abuse; they believe that they are able to think or function.

Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person s body works. You ve probably heard that drugs are bad for you, but what does that mean and why are they bad.

Medicines Are Legal Drugs

If you ve ever been sick and had to take medicine, you already know about one kind of drugs. Medicines are legal drugs, meaning doctors are allowed to prescribe them for patients, stores can sell them, and people are allowed to buy them. But it s not legal, or safe, for people to use these medicines any way they want or to buy them from people who are selling them illegally.

Cigarettes and Alcohol

Cigarettes and alcohol are two other kinds of legal drugs. In the United States, adults 18 and older can buy cigarettes and those 21 and older can buy alcohol. But smoking and excessive drinking are not healthy for adults and are off limits for kids.

Illegal Drugs

When people talk about a drug problem, they usually mean abusing legal drugs or using illegal drugs, such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, crystal meth, and heroin. Marijuana is generally an illegal drug, but some states allow doctors to recommend it to adults for certain illnesses.

Why Are Illegal Drugs Dangerous.

Illegal drugs aren t good for anyone, but they are particularly bad for a kid or teen whose body is still growing. Illegal drugs can damage the brain, heart, and other important organs. Cocaine, for instance, can cause a heart attack even in a kid or teen.

While using drugs, people are also less able to do well in school, sports, and other activities. It s often harder to think clearly and make good decisions. People can do dumb or dangerous things that could hurt them or other people when they use drugs.

English PDF More from the Safer Use series

Reduce your risk of burns, infections, disease, overdose, nutrition problems and dehydration.

You and safer smoking

Smoking any illegal drug is risky because you can never know for sure what s in it or how it was made. But there are also risks involved in how you smoke. Here are some ways to reduce those risks.

Before you start

Know your dealer

It s best to choose someone you feel safe with and who knows about the drugs they sell.

Take vitamins or eat something

You may not feel like eating when high.

Find a buddy

Using alone means no one will be there to help you if you overdose.

Find a safe place

Being relaxed and not in a hurry makes smoking easier and therefore safer.

Bring condoms and lube with you

Stimulant drugs can increase your sex drive.

Clean your hands and your own mouthpiece

Use soap and water or alcohol swabs to wash away germs that could go in your mouth.

To reduce risk

Start with a small amount

If you don t know how strong the drug is, this can help reduce your risk of overdose.

Use your own mouthpiece or pipe

This will help you avoid getting or spreading infection.

Use a shatterproof Pyrex pipe

Other pipes can get too hot or give off toxic fumes.

Avoid using broken or cracked pipes

Damaged pipes can lead to burns, cuts and infections.

Drink water, use lip balm and chew gum

These things will help keep your mouth moist and reduce cracks, blisters and risk of infection.

When preparing to smoke meth

Make sure the drug is in the right part of the pipe bowl

If necessary, tap pipe gently.

Avoid burning your fingers

Hold the pipe halfway down the stem.

Apply heat to the bowl

Keep the heat source moving around until smoke fills the pipe so the bowl won t crack.

When preparing to smoke crack

Use screens instead of Brillo steel wool

Brillo can break apart and be inhaled, and its coating can make you sick.

Pack five screens into your pipe

This is safest. If you prefer, it s okay to wrap the brass screens completely around the Brillo and use them together as a screen.

Use a wooden push stick

Wood is less likely than metal to damage the pipe.

When smoking

Did you know.

Eating when you re coming down will help you sleep.

Inhale slowly

This will help prevent burning your lungs.

Exhale immediately

Holding it in doesn t make the effects stronger it only hurts the lungs more.

Handle the pipe with care

It ll be hot after using it.

Signs of overdose

Feels like:

heart is pumping fast

short of breath

hot, sweaty and shaky

chest pain

nausea

faintness

Looks like:

fast or no pulse

fast or no breathing

hot and sweaty skin

confusion, anxiety

unconscious

vomiting

seizures

If someone ODs

It is important to recognize the early symptoms of an overdose and seek medical assistance.

Try to walk the person around, keep them awake

Roll the person on their side if unconscious

Call out for help do not leave the person

Call or get someone else to call 911

Tell paramedics as much as you can

Safer smoking products

Contact the health unit in your community for information about obtaining alcohol swabs, mouthpieces and push sticks. Visit HealthLink BC for locations, www.healthlinkbc.ca.

Getting help

Self-help tools:

www.heretohelp.bc.ca

www.carbc.ca

Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service:

1-800-663-1441 BC

604-660-9382 Greater Vancouver

2012 Back to top Download PDF More from the Safer Use series.

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