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Due to our unique genetic makeup everyone reacts slightly differently to drugs but there are some simple rules you can follow to lessen your chances of overdosing.
There are no set doses
Age, weight, gender, ethnic background and even how tired you are all play a part in drug metabolism. You wouldn’t expect a frail elderly lady to win a shot competition against a fit young man. Your friend’s dose may not be the right one for you. Try titration dosing, it’s worth the effort. Doctors do it all the time: they start by prescribing a low dose and slowly increase it to find the sweet spot when the drug is most effective while minimising side-effects. The drug profiles will contain more specific information.
Find out why less is often more when dosing for pleasure
Be careful with suppliers
If you’re taking ecstasy for example, which comes in pills, the dosage per pill can vary wildly so it’s best to take a lower dose than usual to make sure you don’t accidentally overdose.
Start low, go slow
It's best to start with a lower dose and then have a bit more. Drugs are becoming more and more potent and it's much safer to, for example, have half a pill first and then see how it goes and have another quarter once you start coming up. This way, you stay much more in control and it's much less likely that will overdose.
Remember, drugs are instantaneous, so so resist the urge to re-dose too quickly, it's a sure-fire recipe for disaster.
Avoid mixing drugs
Just like your doctor takes great care when prescribing you multiple drugs to avoid ones that interact with each other in negative ways, so should you be careful of taking more than one recreational drug at a time. Bear in mind that not only could they react together in a bad way and produce more long term health consequences but this is also a way to overdose without realising. Have a look at our interactive drug interactions charts on the individual drug pages.
Also consider the prescription drugs you take as they could also interact and produce negative effects although this is sadly under-studied.