Responsible Drug User's Oath

The Responsible Drug User's Oath (RDUO) is an oath which is intended for recreational drug users who wish to use drugs in a relatively responsible manner, as opposed to doing so in the stereotype of a lifeless, ethically bankrupt, hedonistic and self-destructive "junkie".



The RDUO first appeared on ( in 2001. It was passed around by email and has recently resurfaced in the Dextroverse ( Forums in a post by the user Nitin in 2004, with minor topical improvements.

Recreational drug use: can it be responsible?

While some believe that recreational drug use is an inherently irresponsible action (in that drug use is fraught with danger, and is illegal in many societies) and therefore can never be done "responsibly", some people would disagree with this assertion. For example, many well-known artists and intellectuals have experimented with recreational drug use and, when done in moderation, it has had few detrimental effects on their lives. In addition, the stigmatized concept of a "drug" is not known in many societies. For example, members of the Rastafari movement use cannabis in religious rituals and some have no concept of it as a "recreational", much less "party", drug. Finally, some stigmatized and illegal recreational drugs are, in fact, physiologically and psychologically safer than alcohol, which few (in Western societies) have asserted cannot be used responsibly.

The RDUO provides guidelines for drug users who wish to pursue a more responsible and non-harmful (to themselves and others) drug-use lifestyle. The document suggests that drug use should be considered a legitimate personal choice, not a crime, personal failure, or societal illness.

Text of the document

'I swear or affirm that':

  1. 'I will understand the effects of all recreational drugs I take prior to ingestion, to the best of my ability. I shall research all relevant neurochemical, psychological, physiological, and spiritual effects, the legal issues surrounding the drug and its use, along with other relevant information.'
  2. 'When taking a drug I am inexperienced with, I shall begin with a reasonably low dose suggested to be psychoactive by the aforementioned research before progressing to higher dosages. I will measure the drug carefully, with an accurate scale, when possible and applicable.'
  3. 'If it is possible that the drug may contain harmful adulterants or in fact be a different drug altogether, I shall have the drug chemically analyzed for purity and content. If this is not possible, I will use caution and/or follow the appropriate course of action.'
  4. 'I will learn the overdose limits for my own body weight and adjust them for any possible synergistic effects due to diet, prescription or other drugs. I will also adjust for dangerous side effects and my own health condition. I will also learn of any possible drug interactions and make sure I am not at risk.'
  5. 'While under the effects of a drug, I shall not take physical risks such as driving, climbing, swimming, or any other physical activity in which my actions may cause harm to myself or others.'
  6. 'When first using a drug I am inexperienced with, I shall take it in the company of an experienced user, also known as a sitter. The sitter will remain sober during this experience, and will also have fully researched the drug. If this is not possible I will make sure there is a responsible way/backup plan to deal with any haphazards which may occur during my experience.'
  7. 'I shall not attempt to sway, force, trick, or otherwise coerce another person or animal to take any drug; rather, I shall discuss previous drug experiences and research frankly and honestly, allowing all people to make their own personal decisions about drug use.'
  8. 'I shall defend the rights of others to make educated, responsible decisions about drug use. I shall not support any person or movement that attempts to remove or abridge said rights.'
  9. 'I shall not allow my drug use to overshadow or disrupt the other important aspects of my life, including social interaction, employment or even other personal pursuits.'
  10. 'I will also take responsibility for the drug use of friends and relatives, if their drug use becomes dangerous to their health or personal relationships.
  11. I will take drugs only in my free time, when I am not answerable to an employer or responsible for another person's health and well-being.'
  12. 'As a drug consumer, I will embrace responsible drug production and distribution methods, such as growing or pharming your own, and shun suppliers who use violence when not necessary for their self-defense. '

'I swear this with the hope of creating a society in which safe, responsible drug use is a personal decision, not a criminal offense.'

See also

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