Steps For Safer Substance Use

Steps For Safer Substance Use

ATLANTA, G.A, July 2023 In Atlanta, substance use is varied, diverse, and a prevalent fixture in our communities. With the proper tools and education, we can reduce stigma, incidences of overdose, HIV and Hep C, and other issues that may be associated with substance use to keep our communities safer.  

Promoting evidence-based strategies that prioritize the health and safety of individuals can help people navigate their relationships with substances. At StopHIVATL, our commitment to safety and stigma-free care makes us a trusted resource for tools and information needed for safer use in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Below, we’ll discuss steps to take for safer substance use. With these tips, you can empower yourself and others to make informed decisions about what you’re using. 

Test for Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic substance commonly found inside street drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and pressed pills. Fentanyl is a cheap way to produce a high, but its potency can make any substance potentially lethal. A way to practice safer use is to test your drugs for fentanyl. Fentanyl test strips can help users make informed decisions about what they’re using and potentially prevent an overdose. You can order fentanyl test strips here.

Start Low, Go Slow

When starting a new stash or trying out a new substance, “Start low, go slow” is an important motto to keep in mind. When you begin with a small amount, you can gradually assess its effects. By taking substances incrementally, you can better manage the high and its impact on you. 

Don’t Use Alone

Make sure you always have someone around whenever you use drugs. Having someone at your side to monitor your use can help avoid accidents and prevent overdoses. If you find yourself alone, give the Never Use Alone Hotline a try. 

Carry Naloxone

Carry naloxone (commonly known by its brand name NARCAN®), naloxone saves lives. You can access naloxone for FREE at Little Five Points Pharmacy, your local SSP distributor, or through the state’s mail-to-order program at 

Have the Right Tools

Safety doesn’t only center around overdose prevention. It’s important to use unused supplies – or works –  when injecting, snorting, or smoking substances. People who inject have a higher chance of contracting Hep C and HIV when sharing works. At SafeWorks, located at Neighborhood Union Health Center (183 Sunset Blvd NW in Atlanta), people can obtain safer injection supplies, overdose prevention tools, and sexual health resources. 

About StopHIVATL: StopHIVATL is an organization that promotes harm reduction, sexual health, sex positivity, and health engagement. They provide inclusive, zero-judgment information and resources on sexual health, drug user safety, Mpox, community events, and more. The testing, prevention (PrEP), and treatment resources StopHIVATL refer to interested parties are always confidential, secure and accessible to those living in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Cobb Counties. 

Want to learn more about StopHIVATL’s mission and services? Visit