Call for culturally-aware crisis support for Indigenous peoples in B.C.
Types of Substance Use
Understanding what substances are, and how they can affect you, can help you stay mindful of your use. Most importantly, it can help you avoid harm.
There are many types of substances. Some examples include:
Caffeine: many people enjoy coffee or caffeinated beverages. Like any substance, having too much can cause harmful side effects.
Tobacco: was common, however there has been a steady decline in smoking in Canada. If you smoke, know about the health risks.
Alcohol: can be part of daily life, culture, and tradition. If drinking affects your health, relationships or daily activities, it may be becoming a problem. Dependency on alcohol is when you physically or emotionally need alcohol to get you through your day. There are tips and guidelines to help you drink alcohol in a safer way.
Cannabis: also known as marijuana, pot or weed, has been legal in Canada since 2018. Cannabis may be used for medical or non-medical purposes. Some people do experience harms from cannabis, which can include struggling with a cannabis use disorder or other challenges.
Medications: used to treat a range of health conditions. Taking medication in ways other than how it’s prescribed, or against recommendations, can be dangerous. Work with a doctor or pharmacist and learn how to safely store medications at home.
In B.C., the illegal drug supply is extremely toxic and contaminated. A devastating number of people are losing their lives to overdose every month.
Fentanyl is an opioid – one that is stronger and more toxic than other opioids. Fentanyl can be prescribed for chronic pain, but illicitly-produced fentanyl has been responsible for a devastating number of lives lost since 2016.
If you use drugs, there are steps to stay safer and safe spaces you can use to reduce your risk of overdose. If you suspect an overdose, call 9-1-1 right away.
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Alcohol and Drug Information Referral Service
Free, confidential information and referral services to support you with any kind of substance use challenge.
A free app that connects people to emergency responders automatically if they become unresponsive while using drugs.
Lifeguard App app gives people who use drugs one more way to stay safer. It empowers people who use drugs to take charge of their health and helps them to survive accidental overdose.
When someone is about to use a drug, especially alone, they can open the app and record the type of substance they are using and confirm their location. The app will hold this information, and a timer is set which can be paused or extended by the app user at any time.
App users can access treatment options quickly and easily, directly through the app. This means that users can remain safer until they are ready to start their journey to recovery.