Psychedelic Harm Reduction
In this weeks episode of YBOS, Alaina and Zarmeen talk about the origins of harm reduction. The origins of harm reduction programs lie in the response to sex work and intravenous drug use. One of the first ever models of harm reduction was the Mersey Harm reduction model. This was highly successful and so was implemented across the world.
Along with this, Alaina and Zarmeen believe the following to be paramount in harm reduction:
1) Test your drug
2) Be knowledgeable about the drug
3) Know dose and possible interactions with other drugs
4) Be comfortable/aware of your set and setting
5) Be aware of how you’re feeling
Though these are just general tips, it is really important to be aware of the resources available to you incase of any issues. The following resources were mentioned in our episode:
Dance safe is a non-profit organization working in harm reduction. They are present at festivals offering drug testing and some of their programs include “drug education, sexual health and consent deep-dives, political advocacy, and event outreach”
Zendo Project owned by MAPS, Is an organization dedicated to psychedelic harm reduction. “The Zendo Project provides professional comprehensive harm reduction education and support for communities to help inform and transform difficult psychedelic experiences into opportunities for learning and growth.”
Pill reports is a global database specifically for MDMA pills. They will test samples sent to them and upload the test report into a global database for all to reference.
References for you to explore:
O'Hare P. Merseyside, the first harm reduction conferences, and the early history of harm reduction. Int J Drug Policy. 2007 Mar;18(2):141-4. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2007.01.003. Epub 2007 Feb 6. PMID: 17689357.