Responsible drug use

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Responsible drug use is a set of attitudes and practices that aim to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms associated with recreational psychoactive substance use.

Also called the harm reduction approach, this approach starts from the premise that recreational substance use is an inherently high-risk activity that unavoidably involves the possibility of injury, addiction, and death. Therefore, the most responsible strategy an individual can adopt (other than complete abstinence) is to take practical steps to reduce and mitigate any potential risks and harms. This philosophy places complete responsibility on the individual to make sure they are doing proper research and taking the necessary precautions in order to avoid negative consequences, all with the understanding that there is no such thing as truly safe or risk-free use.

Recreational drug use can be viewed in a similar light as other risky-but-beneficial activities, particularly extreme sports such as sailing, skiing, skydiving, surfing, paragliding, and mountain climbing. It may also be compared to driving a car, riding a motorcycle, or flying an airplane. Although these activities are not without major risk, they can be minimized through careful preparation and common sense, thereby enriching the life of the individual.

Examples of general harm reduction advice include avoiding hazardous situations, excessive doses, chronic use, and hazardous combinations of substances; avoiding injection; and not using substances at the same time as activities that require a sober state, such as driving or operating machinery.

This page is dedicated to providing information on all the factors that should be considered when deciding to experiment with psychoactive substances. The first part concerns harm reduction practices for all classes of substances while the bottom half focuses exclusively on harm reduction strategies for hallucinogens.


Routes of administration

Recovery position

Reagent testing kits

Dangerous combinations




This advice below is exclusively for hallucinogens such as psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants.


State of mind

Bodily state

Trip sitters


Aborting trips

See also

External links


  1. Erowid Psychoactive Vaults: Dose |
  2. How big is a milligram? (Ask Erowid) |
  3. The Importance of Measured Doses by Fire Erowid & Spoon |
  4. American Weigh Scales, Inc Gemini-20 User Manual |
  5. 3-MeO-PCP (Tripsit) |
  6. Liquid Measurement Technique by Zam (Erowid) |
  7. 7.0 7.1 Erowid. "25I-NBOMe (2C-I-NBOMe) Fatalities / Deaths". Drug Website. Erowid. Retrieved February 28, 2016. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hastings, Deborah (May 6, 2013). "New drug N-bomb hits the street, terrifying parents, troubling cops". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Feehan, Conor (January 21, 2016). "Powerful N-Bomb drug - responsible for spate of deaths internationally - responsible for hospitalisation of six in Cork". Irish Independent. Retrieved January 22, 2016. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Iversen, Les (May 29, 2013). "Temporary Class Drug Order Report on 5-6APB and NBOMe compounds" (PDF). Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Gov.Uk. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Iversen, Les (May 29, 2013). "Temporary Class Drug Order Report on 5-6APB and NBOMe compounds" (PDF). Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Gov.Uk. p. 14. Retrieved June 16, 2013.