Alcohol and Cannabis use in the time of COVID-19 

With the stay at home order, social isolation, prolonged stress and employment loss- it is no surprise that substance use may be more prevalent during this time. We’ll cover some of the data that was collected by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) in the earlier months of the pandemic. The CCSA asked over 1000 respondents during April of 2020, about their alcohol and cannabis use habits/rates.

Rates of, and demographics of use: 

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Self-Care During Covid

Have the days gotten longer, but time for yourself seems shorter?

When it comes to our mind, body and soul, we have to take the time to nurture ourselves. During the times of COVID-19, a lot is surpassing us within our day-to-day life, and it is now more than ever that we have to dive deep in taking care of ourselves.

With self-care, it should be known that there is a lot more than picking one specific day.

You are a beautiful temple who deserves nourishment all day every day and using that ‘self-care Sunday’ may feel good in the moment, but it is not enough. You are more than one day a week kind of deal. Being stuck at home and watching Netflix is quite cozy, why not throw in a face mask or cucumber water to keep hydrated and remember to keep the body moving!

What is Self-Care?

The WHO 1998 definition:

‘Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc.), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.’

Self-Care Tips:  

During a pandemic our bodies may go into deep shock. Life is becoming more stressful as good news is hard to find these days. Being able to take that time for relaxation or just managing your own personal stress can help with maintaining your wellness.

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Safer Injection

 

Breaking down various methods of reducing drug injection related risks & harms


There are plenty of reasons you might choose to inject, and injecting drugs can lead to some unique risks and harm. It allows for significantly faster, and more potent onset of drug effects (if you are mainlining) as opposed to insufflation (snorting), plugging (consuming drugs through your anal/vaginal cavity), or swallowing drugs. You can inject a number of different drugs including opioids (drugs like heroin, morphine and fentanyl), stimulants (like speed, crack, crack cocaine) and various pills. We’ll break down the basics to help keep you and your peers safer if you choose to inject your drugs through a vein; intravenously (AKA IV/mainlining) into your muscle; intramuscularly (AKA IM) or subcutaneously injecting under the skin (skin popping).
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Nutmeg Challenge, Cheap Thrills or Vibe Kills

nutmeg

History/Intro

For centuries nutmeg has been used as a psychoactive drug, falling in and out of popularity. It is often selected because it is cheap and easy to come by, (there might be some in your kitchen spice rack right now). Nutmeg is sometimes used to ease symptoms when experiencing opiate/ opioid withdrawal.

Since the 12th century people have used nutmeg as both a drug with medicinal properties and a seasoning. French astrologer, Nostradamus, was said to have induced his prophetic visions by ingesting large quantities of nutmeg. Malcom X is even quoted noting “a penny matchbox full of nutmeg had the kick of three or four reefers,” in his autobiography.

A drug with such a rich history is sure to peak some people’s interest and curiosities, especially being so cheap and easy to access. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the dangers and risk of harm when ingesting nutmeg in high quantities. Currently there is a recurring “Nutmeg Challenges” trend on social media sites like Facebook and TikTok where people (especially teens and young adults) are filming themselves after consuming 2-4 tablespoons of nutmeg.

Safety/Dosing

Light to moderate doses for ground nutmeg range from 5-20g, (roughly 1-5 teaspoons), with strong doses being from 20-30g, (roughly 5-7 teaspoons).

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SSRI’s and Substances

***Please note that this is an informational overview on the interactions between SSRI and SNRI medications with recreational substances. You should always tell your doctor what recreational substances you use when considering treatments for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. There may be additional risks and side effects not listed here!***

SSRI and SNRI?

SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) and SNRI’s (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Re-uptake inhibitors) are widely known antidepressant medications that are also prescribed for many other conditions. They can be prescribed by your doctor for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), fibromyalgia and nerve pain syndromes, and even conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and premature ejaculation. Because they are prescribed for a wide variety of conditions, some folks may not be aware that they are taking antidepressant medications! This is important because there are significant risks associated with taking SSRI/SNRI medications and using recreational drugs, which is why you should always ask your doctor or other healthcare professional if there are any interactions between the drugs you use and the drugs they give you – every time! Even after talking to your doctor, it’s a good idea to take charge of your health and do your own research (such as reading this blog!)

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Trip! Project’s Harm Reduction During Covid Workshop Series

The Trip! Project presents Harm Reduction 101, with an emphasis on harm reduction during Covid. This workshop series is free, and open to all including community members, service providers, or anyone that wants to learn about this topic.

Register here!

harm reduction workshop poster, same text as the post

In Part 1 of this workshop (Friday June 26th, 3PM) we will discuss: Drug use trends during Covid; Harm reduction & drugs with a focus on party drugs; overdose prevention strategies & and transmission risk reduction strategies when meeting dealers or picking up drugs.
Click ‘going’ on the Facebook event here.

Part 2 (Tuesday June 30th) will explore more in-depth topics related to withdrawal and returning to use after Covid; mental health, and safety at online parties as well as a longer question session for anything from either of these 2 workshops.
Click ‘going’ on the Facebook event here.

Please REGISTER, you will be sent the info before the workshops begin!

Stay tuned for: Relationships during Covid workshop, coming early July 2020!

 

Edibles

Cannabis edibles have been made and enjoyed by many people for many years. Since legalization of cannabis, weed infused edibles are becoming increasingly more common. However, supply of legal edibles is limited, and the dosage may be lower than some users would want. With the black market options vast in dosage and flavours, some users turn to black market brands or homemade. Black market or homemade edibles are unregulated though. A study of edibles across Canada showed that products contained 1/5th to ½ of the THC labeled on the package. What can make edibles even more unpredictable is the number of servings in each edible product (such as a brownie or gummy bear) can change from product to product. Here are some tips on how you can be safe and have fun while ingesting edibles.

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