Harm reduction advice for using Ecstasy/MDMA

Date Added: 13/07/2020


  • DON’T GO SOLO: Don’t be on your own, your mates are the best harm reduction you have, so stick with them. Ideally be with trusted friends or at least some who have used MDMA before and least one who will remain sober throughout the session. It’s far from ideal to take MDMA with a bunch of other people who have never tried it either. If something does occur and all of you are intoxicated there’s no one about sort things out.
  • USE IT SOLO: Don’t drink alcohol or use any other drugs that day, especially before you use. Most people who end up seeking Emergency Medical Treatment after taking MDMA have used other drugs and alcohol as well.
  • DRUG QUALITY: Know as much about your drug and as far as possible trust the source. Although most pills and powders sold as MDMA do contain MDMA, not everything sold as MDMA does. 
  • DOSE LOW: Start low, go slow and don’t re-dose for at least 2-3 hours. Less than half of first-time users reported taking a test dose. We think everyone should. Because some MDMA pills contain 3-4 x time as much as most people (especially first-time users) would like/need in single dose (75-100mg), we suggest starting with a quarter and to see how you go.  Go at your own pace don’t try and keep up with your mates.
  • SAFE SPACE AND TRAVELS: Make sure you are in a familiar and safe place, don’t drive / cycle and avoid cliffs, pools, ponds and other big bodies of water. Being in safe familiar place is so important. Familiarity with your environments can provide reassurance when other things appear very strange.
  • BE A PLANT – WELL WATERED: Stay well hydrated, avoid alcohol and keep cool. MDMA (like alcohol) can dehydrate you and if you’re off your head, you might forget to drink. MDMA can also make if difficult or not important to pee. If your out when the sun is dehydration and overheating are genuine risks. Drink a glass of water (or juice/other non-alcoholic drink) and if you feel too hot take some time out – and ask a mate to go with you with you. Signs of dehydration include feeling dizzy and faint, but don’t drink too much water either since very rarely (usually in combination with not peeing) this can lead to lowering of salt levels in your body. 
  • TELL SOMEONE: If you feel unwell, tell someone and seek help. Feeling a little sick (or even throwing up) can be a normal part of the MDMA experience, when you are coming up. It passes quickly and shouldn’t be a cause of worry. Feeling a bit sweaty and noticing your heart racing can also be part of a normal MDMA experience, like feeling more talkative and emotionally attached to those around you. But feeling anxious, very restless, really hot, confused or being unable to communicate clearly are not and might signal somethings up.
  • Call 999 for an ambulance– If you or your mates suspect overdose - call 999 straight away, no-one will get into trouble for calling for help and you might save a life.
  • Give immediate first aid basic life support (Put them in the recovery position and monitor the airway, breathing and pulse).
  • NO RUSH: Plan ahead and if doubt delay. Although spontaneous initiation into a new drugs experience can be exciting, it’s good to plan ahead.  Before you take MDMA, you need to think about where you will be, who you will be with, what you’ll be doing and know you’ll be in a good headspace. If on the day it just doesn’t feel right (or if something is troubling you elsewhere in your world) then hit the pause button and know that it’s not now or never, and that there’ll be another chance.

If you are concerned about how you feel or how someone else is presenting do not hesitate to call 999 they will not judge you!

Contact REACH SPOC (Dorset Young People)
Tel :0800 0434656 -select option 2

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