Quick, reliable information on the effects of drugs can sometimes be hard to come by if someone doesn’t know where to look. Illicit drugs are, of course, unsafe due to the uncontrolled way they are manufactured and used. However, it’s sometimes helpful to know about drugs and their effects so that people are informed of specific risks. One great service that we have found is from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF). The ADF work to prevent problems for alcohol and other drugs in Australian communities through an evidence-based harm minimisation approach. Their service, titled, ‘‘get the effects by txt’ and does the work for people to give them accurate information on the effects of drugs, fast.
Text message service on the effects of drugs
The SMS service is anonymous and works by texting the name of the drug that a person wants to find out about to 0439 TELL ME (0439 835 563). A text will be sent back with a summary about the effects of the drug and its potential harms. The texts also contain a link to the ADF website, where more comprehensive data can be obtained and the Directline phone number (1800 888 236) that provides confidential counselling and referral services.
For example, if a text is sent with the term ‘ecstasy’ (or pills, E, molly, or any other street name), the return text reads “Ecstasy. Feel energetic, empathy. Increased temperature & heart rate. Dehydration risk. Comedown includes anxiety/depression. druginfo.adf.org.au. 1800 888 236”
This ‘quick and easy’ method gives people brief and unbiased information about the effects of the drug and potential consequences of taking it. While it is no substitute for comprehensive education and the short nature of the message does not allow the inclusion of very much information, it is a good starting point. Most importantly, it gives people tools to make a more informed choice about the effects of drugs they may be choosing to put in their body and support services to call if required.
Check out our Party Safe Education™ pages for more information about alcohol and other drugs for young people, parents and teachers.