I want to use drugs safely


YouthCO has a needle exchange and harm reduction program open from 10:00 – 5:00 Monday – Friday. We’ve also got some helpful information about how to prevent HIV and Hep C from being passed, and on using drugs safely.

Safer Injecting

  • Taste before you use
  • Always use with a buddy
  • Use a new needle for each injection
  • It’s not safe to break off the tip of the needle or re-cap it
  • If you haven’t used in a while, reduce your dose
  • Protect yourself and your community – dispose of your equipment safely, preferably in a sharps bin

Safer Snorting

  • Avoid sharing straws or bills
  • Rinse the inside of your nose before and after railing by dabbing your fingers in water and sniffing until you feel water running down the back of your throat
  • After railing, consider applying vitamin E oil to your nostrils to aid in the healing process

Safer Smoking

  • Smoke in a safe space with people that you trust
  • Inhale slowly and exhale immediately – don’t hold it in
  • Know your limits – once you’re high, stop smoking
  • Keep your pipe clean by burning off the residue and then scrubbing it with alcohol swabs
  • Don’t be alarmed by feelings of extreme depression once you’re sober – it’s how your body may be reacting to the drug

I want to have fun without using drugs

  • YouthCO plans social events, dance parties, and movie nights.  Check out our events calendar for more info!


YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!