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Safer Sex & Safer Drug Use

While nothing is completely safe, there are ways you can reduce your risk.

Safer Drug Use Tips

Have a buddy

Have a buddy

Use with a buddy or at overdose prevention sites. If you choose to use alone, get someone to look in on you and call for help if needed.

Start low, go slow

Start low, go slow

Test a small amount first, then go slowly.

Have an overdose plan. Carry naloxone.

Have an overdose plan. Carry naloxone.

Be prepared if an overdose happens. Get training and carry naloxone.

Use one drug at a time

Use one drug at a time

Using more than one substance increases the risk of overdose. Mixing your drugs (including prescription drugs) with alcohol or other substances is dangerous. If you do mix, use less than you normally would and go slowly.

Be aware of your health & tolerance

Be aware of your health & tolerance

Being sick, run down or having a chronic illness can increase the risk of overdose. Your tolerance can also be lower if you haven't used for a while, or if you are using a substance for the first time.

Safer Injection & Safer Smoking

For registered sites, please see the Safer Smoking Supplies Ordering and Distribution Guidelines. 

Learn more about different safer smoking supplies, how to use them and how best to care for them in this printable brochure. 


For tips on how to inject and smoke more safely, these harm reduction pamphlets were created by peers in association with Vancouver Coastal Health. 

Safer Tablet Injection

Tablets medications (pills) from a pharmacy are less likely to cause an overdose compared to drugs or pills from the illicit market - this is because the dose and contents of prescribed drugs are known.

Tablet medications contain fillers (e.g. coatings and powders) that can cause harm when injected, such as serious infections, abscesses and damage to the veins, skin, heart, and lungs. These risks can be reduced by using harm reduction supplies, including filters.

Below are resources for anyone who is injecting tablet medications (pills) and would like to do so more safely:

Instructional Pamphlets:

1. Injection Pamphlet - Sterifilt Fast 

2. Injection Pamphlet - Cotton Filters

3. Injection Pamphlets - Preparing for Injection  

Instructional Videos: 

Guidance for Injecting Tablet Medication
Preparing Your Drugs
How to Filter
Sterifilt FAST Instructions
Cotton Filter Instructions

Click here for the guidance resource

Click here for the guidance resource in French


Safer Sex Tips

SmartSexResource is a provincial sexual health website, offering comprehensive information, education and resources on sexually transmitted infections, trends and more. 

Get Safer Sex & Drug Use Supplies

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