This section on HARM REDUCTION covers various issues so please visit the relevant subsections.
It refers to the phenomenon of supplying equipment (paraphernalia) for intravenous illicit drug use. We are talking here about such ethical issue as making the use of drugs much easier for those who put their health and lives at risk by injecting illicit substances. Someone might ask: ‘Does the needle exchange really help those people?’ Does it, in the long term, promote someone’s wellbeing or does it promote drug use? Or maybe it’s just another form of promoting addiction to illicit drugs? The reason for setting up Needle Exchange services, which may sound a bit paradoxical, was to provide professional care for those who misuse substances. A person who is addicted to illicit drug or alcohol experiences such intense cravings that they, most of the time, don’t care what stuff they use or if the equipment is sterile or not. This is why it is so easy to get infected with Hepatitis B or C virus.
The truth is that the drug user, who has died due to using non-sterile paraphernalia, will not need any treatment. For that reason it has been decided that a drug user should have free access to sterile equipment to keep him/her safe so when they feel ready, they can ask for therapeutic help.
The material published on the website (with kind permission of Kevin F.) teaches about how to prepare (cook) drugs in a ‘safer’ way as a drug user is often not aware of how the drug is most safely prepared before they use it. This ignorance could eventually lead to death.
It is important to emphasize the fact that this website does not promote drug misuse but only teaches and educates on how to use drugs more safely, if someone has already decided to do so. The intention is to minimise the risk and keep the drug user as safe as possible.
A number of the slides below teach about injecting for people who use steroids and weight lift.