Harm reduction tips and staying safe:

Stay hydrated

Buy a scale

Check your substances

Have a plan

Use with trusted friends

Start low and go slow

Avoid mixing substances

MDMA

MDMA ( 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a psychoactive drug derived from safrole oil that acts as a stimulant and hallucinogen. It produces effects that are similar to stimulants and psychedelics. MDMA affects the brain primarily by releasing serotonin and temporarily inhibiting its reuptake. It is advised to only use MDMA every 2-3 months at least.

MDMA is typically found in pill, capsule, or powdered forms. It is usually ingested orally but can also be snorted.

A standard dose for MDMA is typically between 75-125 mg, but it is not recommended to exceed 120 mg. Clinical studies on MDMA found that the drug’s positive effects were maximized at 81-100 mg while adverse effects were more common on higher doses (doses higher than 120 mg). RollSafe suggests that total intake per session should be 1.5 mg of MDMA per kilogram of bodyweight. However, total intake should not exceed 120 mg.

Dosing Chart:

Light - 40-75mg

Common - 75-125mg

Strong - 125-175mg

Heavy - 175mg+

Using MDMA can make one feel euphoria, a feeling of connectedness, increased confidence, dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, reduced inhibitions, clenching of the jaw, heightened sensory awareness, excessive sweating, nausea and reduction in appetite, increased heart rate, increased risk of dehydration due to heightened body temperature, heat stroke, tooth-grinding, muscle tension, faintness, and chills or sweating. It can lead in some cases to sadness, anxiety, depression and sleep problems in the next few days, but these effects typically abate within a week.

The effects of MDMA are usually felt in 30-45 min and last 3-6 hours. The peak of the drug typically occurs 2-3 hours after ingestion. People typically recover within 24 hours, but the effects of coming down from the drug can last a couple of days or even a week.

MDMA overdoses can be fatal and deaths are often caused by overheating. Hyperthermia – a dangerously high increase in body temperature, or heatstroke – is the most common health problem related to MDMA. When using MDMA stay hydrated. Signs of an overdose include a racing heartbeat and high blood pressure, high body temperature, convulsions, heightened blood pressure and difficulty breathing, symptoms of a heart attack and stroke, and unconsciousness. Do not use MDMA if you also use SSRI antidepressants because this can cause serotonin syndrome. More information on MDMA can be found here.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that stimulates the central nervous system and is extracted from the leaves of the Erythroxylon coca Lam, a species of the coca plant that is cultivated in the Andean region of South America. The chewing of the coca plant has been used for thousands of years by Indigenous populations to produce a mild, stimulating effect, reduce hunger, and handle living in elevation. Powder and crack cocaine are produced by chemically processing coca leaves and extracting its stimulant properties.

Cocaine is commonly consumed in powder form, which is usually snorted or injected. Snorting is the most common way of using the drug. It can also be consumed in crack cocaine form, which is usually smoked, and in paste form, which is also smoked.

A line of powder cocaine is usually between 50-100 mg. A study of cocaine use by college students found that the majority used roughly 200 mg (~4 lines) during a night out. While the lethal dose of cocaine remains contested, ingesting over 500 mg nasally or orally is considered dangerous and injecting as little as 20 mg can be fatal.

Using cocaine can cause one to feel alert, powerful, energetic, more confident and excited, euphoric, more sociable and lively, and relaxed. However, one may also experience anxiety, paranoia, agitation, increased irritability, nausea. Cocaine use raises body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate and can cause red eyes, dry mouth and throat, and numbness depending on how it is ingested. Taking large amounts of cocaine can also lead to “over-amping” – the term used to describe what is considered an “overdose” but for stimulants such as cocaine. The effects of this can be physical or psychological, and can include extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations. The effects of over-amping can be reduced by hydrating, eating food, getting sleep, breathing, exercise, walking, taking a warm shower and getting fresh air.

While both are pharmacologically the same, crack cocaine tends to be cheaper, faster acting, and the high lasts for a shorter period of time, compared to powder cocaine. The effects from snorting powder cocaine are felt within a few minutes and last 30 minutes to an hour. When the cocaine high fades, the person may feel a hangover and begin to feel anxious and depressed, and also have intense craving for more of the drug.

Ingesting large amounts of cocaine can lead to overheating, strokes and heart attacks, which can be fatal. Regularly snorting large amounts of cocaine can also cause irreversible damage to the septum. To reduce these harms, use a straw instead of a bill. If a straw isn’t available, a post-it can also be used, but whatever is being used should not be shared. You should also make sure that the surface where the cocaine is being cut is clean, as is the card which might be used to cut the cocaine. Flushing your nose with warm water after snorting dissolves any residual - making the nasal cavity healthier and ensuring that the drug doesn’t go into the throat.

LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as LSD, or “acid,” is considered the best known and most researched psychedelic drug. As a psychedelic/hallucinogen it induces a dreamlike altered state that gives the user an altered sense of reality. LSD does not have a taste - spit out the tab if you taste something.

LSD is usually ingested orally and usually sold as small squares of paper with pictures on them, known as tabs or blotters.

Even small amounts of LSD can cause someone to feel its effects. A microdose of 5-15 micrograms will have minimal effects, but a solid recreational dose is usually 75-125 micrograms. Those looking for a more intense experience ingest 125-150 micrograms.

The effects of LSD can vary significantly depending on dose. More detailed descriptions about the effects of different doses can be found here. Common effects include euphoria, increased energy, excitement, increased empathy, feelings of peace and harmony, and spiritual insights (at higher doses). It can cause hallucinations, ego death, visual distortions and illusions, a warped perception of time. Using LSD can also cause panic, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, mood swings. It may cause slight physical and mental fatigue the day after, but LSD use is not usually followed by a hangover.

The effects of LSD are usually felt 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion and last 8-12 hours. The peak of the trip typically lasts 2-5 hours. Unlike other drugs, re-dosing does not recreate peak of trip but extends post-peak experience by 2-4 hours.

Because of the intensity and wide range of emotions, one’s mental state before and throughout the trip is very important. If you are on any other medication or have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, you should not use LSD. Although each person’s trip is unique, the best LSD experiences occur in a safe, supportive, and aesthetically pleasing environment with a clear idea of what to expect. More information about LSD can be found here, and if a friend has asked you to trip-sit, this information can be found here.

Ketamine

Ketamine is a dissociative anaesthetic that causes users to feel detached from themselves and their immediate surroundings and induce an altered perception of reality. As a general anaesthetic, ketamine reduces sensation in the body. Ketamine at low doses acts as a mild stimulant, but at medium to high doses, it becomes a very powerful paralyzing hallucinogenic.

Ketamine is generally found in three forms: as a powder, tablet, or liquid. For recreational use, powder ketamine is the most common. It is often ingested nasally or intravenously, though nasal ingestion is more often.

Throughout an entire session, doses range from 15-250 mg, distributed between different lines. A low dose of powder ketamine is generally 10-75 mg line. A medium dose is 60-125 mg, while a large dose is 100-250 mg. Ingesting over 250 mg of ketamine will lead to unconsciousness.

Ketamine has a steep dose-response curve, so the effects vary significantly depending on the dose. However, a study on ketamine use found that the most appealing aspects for two-thirds of users were “melting into the surrounding,” “visual hallucinations,” “out-of-body experiences,” and “giggliness.” Conversely, unappealing effects for half the participants were “memory loss” and “decreased sociability.” It can also cause nausea and confusion. Lines of ketamine up to 50 mg can produce euphoria that is similar but less intense than MDMA, mute smells and taste, as well as amplify visuals and sense of touch. It can cause feelings of calmness and relaxation, relief from pain, and distort sights, colours, sounds. At about the 100 mg threshold, the dissociative and hallucinogenic elements of ketamine occur, distorting perceptions of time and space. Doses between 60 and 125 mg can cause things to feel like they are moving in slow motion, a loss of coordination, and After 200 mg, there is a significant risk for a ‘K-hole,’ a considerable and lengthy detachment from reality characterized by a near-comatose state. While some people discover meaningful insights during a K-hole, others find it a frightening experience.

If ingested nasally, the effects of ketamine begin to be felt in 5-20 minutes. Ketamine trips last 1-2 hours, but its after-effects continue to be felt for another 1-2 hours. The size of the dose does not affect the duration of the trip.

A K-hole often occurs when someone has accidentally taken too much ketamine. To avoid this, begin with low doses and increase only incrementally. However, if you are attempting to experience a K-hole, ensure you are in a safe, comfortable environment with trusted friends.

Amphetamine

Amphetamines stimulate the central nervous system and produce increased wakefulness and focus in the user. They are synthetic stimulants that speed up the body’s processes, including heart and breathing rate. The three main kinds of amphetamines: amphetamine sulphate, commonly known as “Speed” or Benzedrine; dextroamphetamine, also known as Dexedrine or “Dexy’s Midnight Runners;” and methamphetamine, also known as methedrine or meth. Methamphetamine is the most potent of the three.

The impurities in street-bought amphetamines, particularly Speed, cause the drugs to have varying appearances. They can be found as a white, pale yellow or pale pink powder. A distinct colour, namely brown, orange, or reddish, is a result of impurities. Amphetamines are usually found as a powder, liquid, tablet. However, they can also be found as larger, purer crystals or “base,” an off-white, brown, pink gritty paste. Amphetamines are primary swallowed, injected, or smoked, though they are sometimes ingested nasally or rectally.

Because the purity of street-bought amphetamines cannot be assured, it is impossible to estimate recommended doses. However, the following tables describe different kinds of doses depending on route of administration:

Oral Dosing:

Light - 10-20mg

Common - 20-50mg

Strong - 50-70mg

Heavy - 70-90mg

Snorting Dosing:

Light - 15-25mg

Common - 25-40mg

Strong - 40-77mg

Heavy - 77-100mg

Common effects include euphoria, reduced tiredness, improved performance in sport, increased endurance and alertness, and a boost of confidence. High doses of amphetamines can cause a rapid flow of ideas and feel an increase in physical and mental powers. However, one may also feel agitated and panicked, a decrease in appetite, increased heart and breath rate, and a strong urge to re-dose. Using amphetamines can feel like a longer adrenaline rush that has a noticeable crash. Coming down from the drug, one may be anxious, irritable, and restless. Heavy usage in a small amount of time can produce panic and paranoia, but as the drug vacates the body these adverse effects typically abate.

Relative to other amphetamines, methamphetamine has more potent effects that also last longer. However, the effects of illicit amphetamines can be unpredictable since what is often sold as amphetamine is of unknown quality and potency and may include other substances or adulterants.

The method of ingestion strongly influences the onset and length of amphetamines. Swallowing an amphetamine pill causes effects to come on within 15-30 minutes and last 4-8 hours, though after-effects may be felt for another 1-12 hours. Ingesting these drugs nasally results in effects coming on much quicker, within 5-10 minutes and last 3-6 hours, though after-effects might . Effects from injecting are felt almost instantaneously and can be overwhelming.

When methamphetamine is swallowed, the peak concentration is seen within 2-4 hours. When snorted, smoked, or injected, peak concentration will occur within minutes.

The effects of Adderall are generally felt within 45 to 60 minutes of swallowing the tablet, and effects do not last longer than 4 to 6 hours. Snorting speed causes effects to come on within 30 minutes and last 4-8 hours. Its after-effects might be felt for another 12 hours.

Benzodiazepine

Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed sedative/depressant. They are used to treat anxiety disorders, anxiety caused by depression, and panic disorders. They can also be used as a muscle relaxant. Benzodiazepines increase the brain neurotransmitter Gabba Amino Butryic Acid (GABA), which has a calming effect on the brain, and suppress the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines that are commonly available on the street include alprazolam (Xanax), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), diazepam (Valium), temazepam, and phenazepam. Recreationally, these drugs are often used as chill-out drugs after partying or using other substances, such as stimulants or LSD.

Benzodiazepines are generally found as tablets or capsules, but also solutions for injections. They exist in a wide variety of colours. They are primarily administered orally.

Similar to amphetamines, the inability to assure the purity of street-bought benzodiazepines makes it nearly impossible to estimate recommended doses. However, the following table describes different kinds of doses for orally-ingested alprazolam (Xanax):

Light - 0.25-0.5mg

Common - 0.5-1.5mg

Strong - 1.5-2mg

Heavy - 2mg

The maximum prescribed dose for anxiety is 4 mg per day. The maximum prescribed dose for panic disorders is 10 mg per day.

Benzodiazepines relieve anxiety and tension and can make people feel more calm and relaxed. Common effects include feelings of sedation, amnesia, loss of motor skills, drowsiness, and light-headedness. Using benzodiazepines increases the risk of blacking out significantly and can cause memory loss.

The effects of these drugs begin to be felt within 15-90 minutes and last 5-8 hours. The after-effects of benzodiazepines last 6-24 hours which cause a comedown/hangover.

The primary danger associated with benzodiazepines is blacking out or overdosing by mixing it with other CNS depressants. Benzodiazepines are also a class of drugs that have a high potential for addiction.

Opioids

Opiates are a class of drugs that are naturally found in the resin opium poppy plant. Opioids are both opiates and synthetic substances as well as opioid peptides. As synthetic drugs, opioids are drugs that have psychoactive chemicals that resemble an opiate in its pharmacological effects. They are primarily used as pain relief medication. Synthetic opioids refer to a category of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) that are either known to be opiates or have opiate-like effects. They work by binding to the opioid receptors (Delta, Kappa, Mu) which are found in the Central/Peripheral nervous system and in the GI tract. Opiates produce these effects through acting on the mu-opioid receptor brain receptor. The most commonly used opioids are prescription opioids, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, fentanyl, and heroin.

Opioids exist in a wide range of different forms and colours. They are most commonly found as tablets, capsules, syrups, and solutions for injection. Opioids can be swallowed, injected, snorted, sucked or absorbed through the skin or bowel.

Because of the unregulated nature of some opioids as well as the inability to assure the purity of street-bought substances, it is nearly impossible to estimate recommended doses. For regulated prescription opioids, follow doctor’s direction or current thresholds outlined by medical professionals.

All opioids produce similar basic effects - relieving pain and anxiety at low doses and even a sedative effect at increased doses. Alongside their pain relieving properties, opioids can cause feelings of relaxation and happiness. They can also cause cough suppression, which can be an indication of opioid administration or an undesired side effect.

Opioid medication can cause drowsiness, constipation, nausea, dizziness, and decreased heart and breath rate. Using opioids can also cause depressed mood, low blood pressure, or a loss of motor skills. Opioid use can also increase sensitivity to pain, shutdown the immune system, and cause muscle spasms. However, different opioids have varying effects, duration, potency, and potential for addiction.

How long the effects of opioids last and how long the drug stays in the body depends on the amount of the drug ingested, your physical size, as well as what other drugs that may have been ingested. Because of the unregulated nature of some opioids as well as the inability to assure the purity of street-bought substances, the length of effects can be unpredictable.

Opioids contract the pupils (miosis). During the suffocation that occurs during an overdose, the pupils dilate (mydriasis) and can be followed by respiratory arrest (complete cessation of breathing). While regulated prescription opioids have predictable doses and effects, unregulated opioids, such as heroin, are much more unpredictable.

mcgill@cssdp.org

DISCLAIMER

Making Drugs More Accurate is not responsible for what you do with this information. Nor do we recommend drug use and we emphasize all drug use carries risk. 

The information outlined on this website is not exhaustive. We provide a brief description of drugs that are commonly used recreationally, including typical routes of administration, typical doses, common effects and their duration, as well as other helpful information. The effects described are the most commonly reported effects, but because the purity of substances cannot be assured, effects can vary as a result of the potential for contaminants.

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