As I'm sure most people who read this site will know Mephedrone has been around for a few years now and it is one of the wide range of new and emerging drugs, some legal, some not that people are experimenting with, using recreationally or in some cases developing a dependency on. One of the questions and fears that has been around has been which of these, if any, will people inject and what will be the consequences and risks if they do.
Nearly ten years ago, North America's first safe-injection site opened in Vancouver, B.C., providing sterile needles and other harm-reducing amenities for struggling addicts. A driving force behind this facility for two years was Hungarian-born author and physician, Dr. Gabor Maté. In his bestselling book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Dr. Maté shares his experiences working with the down-and-out of Vancouver's East Side. The All Treatment blog spoke with this renowned physician about addiction stigmas, America's war on drugs, and what it means to be a "hungry ghost." ('All Treatment' have kindly allowed the interview to be reposted here).
Steroids have always been a bit confusing when it comes to discussing legalities with visitors to a needle programme, but changes to the law covering steroids that come into effect from April 23rd (2012) are going to cause a major change if both the legalities and possible risks of using this group of drugs.
At heart I'm a harm reduction kind of person. I've spent the last decade working in needle programmes, running a website that provides injecting advice and presenting sessions at conferences promoting harm reduction. For me this work has always had as one of its goals the idea of helping people who want to stop using drugs achieve this. And for the people who don't want to stop, it's been about helping them stay safer and, if I can, 'nudging' them to the idea of stopping at some time in the future.So the idea that harm reduction and recovery are somehow opposite ends of drugs work has been something I've always found confusing.
Years ago when I started doing harm reduction work it was a very different drug landscape, heroin was the main drug used by people coming into services (after alcohol of course) Most injectors I saw used heroin, and possibly the occasional 'treat' of a rock of crack. Of course there where also people injecting steroids and the occasional amphetamine injector but these where far less common. Now though we have the rise of the legal high.
All too often the media representation of drug users is two dimensional at best. The stereotypical representation of drug users in the media can be enormously damaging not only to drug users themselves but also to their family members and has implications for both drug treatment and harm reduction efforts. This article examines three classical stereotypes of drug users utilised by the media and discusses the issues incumbent in them.
Over the years the advice I've given to injectors has developed and changed. Sometimes this is because of new research, and sometimes it's just because I realise that there is better advice I could be giving. This articleexplains why I no longer tell steroid injectors that the glute is the best place to inject.