Features: Festival Survival Guide

Bristol24/7, April 12, 2017

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Festival season is here again and it’s time to join our friends and head outdoors for good music, food, drink and (hopefully) sunshine. While we can’t arrange for the sun to always be out, we can make sure that we look after our friend and enjoy ourselves safely.

With some of us looking to alcohol and other drugs to add to our enjoyment, local charity BDP (Bristol Drugs Project) are here to help provide you with free and confidential advice to help keep you safe when you’re having fun.

BDP believe that the better understanding you have of the pleasures and risks of substances, the more you are able to make informed decisions. With the growing popularity of drugs like MDMA and 2CB, this year BDP have put together their Festival Survival Guide with a focus on reducing the harm pills and powders can cause.

First time with a new powder or pill? Plan ahead before you’re off your head…

1.       Do your research.
But recognise its limitations.

2.       Safe Source?
Pills and powders are unpredictable and can be cut with any number of different chemicals. You can never be 100% safe. Reduce risk by sticking to a source you trust.

3.       Choose your time.
Avoid taking when coming down or experimenting when on the back of a bender.

4.       Trust your mates.
Stick with your friends. Make sure they know what you’ve had and ask what they’re taking. Have at least one unintoxicated friend in your group.

5.       Don’t have anything else on board.
Be aware of mixing with any prescribed medications.

6.       Test drive before putting your foot down.
The biggest risk is starting off taking lots of an unknown drug before you know how long it takes to come up, peak and starting coming down.

7.       Start low.
Your first dose should be at least a quarter of what you think a tiny dose is (or a maximum quarter of a pill).

8.       Take it slow.
Wait for at least 90 –120 minutes before re-dosing.

9.       Avoid alcohol.
Or other drugs after dosing. Mixing can lead to increased drink and drug use, making the night more expensive.

10.   Stay safe.
Never plan to drive or take a bath when intoxicated. Seek help if you feel unwell.

Sometimes a social drink, smoke, pill, or sniff can escalate into something people feel they need rather than just enjoy, getting in the way of work, relationships, routines and ambitions.

BDP understand that not everyone who drinks or takes drugs has a problem, but they’re here to help those that do.

If you want to talk about your own drink or drug use, or that of someone you care about, contact BDP for free, non-judgemental and confidential support.

Visit www.bdp.org.uk

Call 0117 987 6000 or text/WhatsApp 0790 860 7754.

BDP, 11 Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE.

Drop-in open Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm, and Saturday, 10am-5pm.

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