Everyone has their own reasons for using substances, whether for self-medicating, coping, or having fun. Despite how common it is to use substances, there’s still a lot of stigma around buying, using, and talking about drugs. People often have negative reactions that come from society’s views on certain substances and the people who use them.
Some substances are legal and regulated, while others aren’t, which is why learning about how to use substances in safer ways is so important. At Sexfluent, we believe that you deserve to make choices about your health and body that are free from stigma. 💕 This includes having access to accurate information on how to enjoy substances more safely.
Most substances can be categorized into three major groups: stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.
HIV is a virus that weakens the body's immune system, while HCV (Hepatitis C) attacks your liver. The only way to know your HIV or HCV status is by getting tested! HCV can be treated with a medication routine that lasts between 8 to 24 weeks. While there is no cure for HIV, highly effective treatment in the form of a daily pill exists, and people living with HIV are living healthy and full lives. 💪 The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can begin treatment. (P.S. It's also possible to get a co-infection of HIV and HCV, meaning you can have both viruses at the same time – which is why getting tested regularly is so important!)
When it comes to needles and other tools, just remember: ✍✍ everything new, every single time! ✍✍ Not sure where to get new needles? Syringe distribution programs can provide you with unused needles and are available across Canada at various harm reduction sites. Click here to find one near you.
For example, some folks who use substances when in a really low place with their mental health may experience more intense feelings of self-harm or suicide – which is another reason why it's so important not to use substances alone! Building a network of trustworthy people to talk to about your substance use is a good way to make sure support is there when you need it. If you find that things tend to get worse or more challenging when you're using, it could be worth considering what other outlets you can turn to, in addition to substances. 💞