Amphetamine type substances

Amphetamine type substances (ATS) - Harm reduction tips

  • No use is the safest choice.
  • Eat well beforehand for energy reserves.
  • Drink plenty of water (600ml per hour) especially if dancing.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks which further dehydrate you. Catch up on fluids, food and sleep the next day to aid recovery.
  • Combining ATS with alcohol or other drugs overworks the system – especially the liver – and the effects are unpredictable.
  • Avoid using ATS when taking medication like antidepressants.
  • If snorting ensure it is finely chopped with a razor or knife and use alternate nostrils.
  • Taking ATS orally is generally safer than smoking, injecting, or snorting because the stomach can handle acidic substances better than your lungs, veins, or nose.
  • Putting ATS in empty pill capsules or wrapped in cigarette papers and drinking plenty of water reduces the damage if swallowing.
  • IV use carries increased risks of HIV and hepatitis if needles (and other equipment) are shared plus potential damage to veins.
  • Avoid IV Ritalin use completely as it can cause serious blood vessel damage.
  • Sex on ATS can be rough and long with sore bits, broken condoms and a greater chance of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Using lube with condoms is safest.
  • ATS and medications used to treat HIV or AIDS do not go well together. Contact your local New Zealand Aids Foundation branch. If in Auckland visit Body Positive or the Burnett Centre for more information and support.
  • Brush and floss teeth regularly and sip water. When using ATS the blood flow to the gums is reduced and the mouth becomes dry. Also chewing gum is a good idea if you grind your teeth when speeding.

If you think you or a friend has taken an overdose of ATS, it is very important to seek help immediately. Call an ambulance and tell them what has been taken so that medical staff can help. You won’t get into trouble for this and you may minimise or prevent any serious long-term damage or death.