What’s your color?




Am I getting old and prudish? Or, is there something creepy about the merger of pop culture iconography and harm reduction? Where are the lines between destigmatizing addiction, normalizing addiction and celebrating addition?

I don’t consider myself anti-harm reduction, though I believe more aggressive forms of harm reduction should be done in the context of treatment on demand and I’m troubled by programs that pay little attention to creating opportunities to facilitate recovery.
[Hat tip: Matt]

5 thoughts on “What’s your color?

  1. There is nothing creepy about it. There are large amounts of people who share injecting equipment even after harm reduction messages. Often this is with cohabiting couples who may not even see sharing a pin with a partner as ‘sharing as such. Avril Taylors study in scotland showed that in times of desparation people will crack open sharps bins to reuse old pins. Because of this its a REALLY good idea for people to be able to identify which ones are thiers. Its basic harm reduction.The way it looks on Exchanges website is just basic marketing and that shouldn’t be seen as creepy.

  2. Of course I get the purpose, and of course I get that some people continue to use in unsafe ways. My problem is that I rarely meet a precontemplative injection drug user. Of course they’ll take clean needles, but they despair at the widespread shortages of meaningful help to get them clean. I’ve got no problem with interventions to keep them alive, but harm reduction should be recovery-oriented, which means balancing a lot of considerations. More here: http://www.dawnfarm.org/harmreduction.html

  3. I never cared much about whose works I was useing or where it had been before, the only reason to get a new one was to make sure it was sharp. These colored syringes would have definately made it alot harder to steal my girlfriends dope though.

  4. As the first comment said: accidental sharing of syringes in situations where people store their injecting equipment together, or are in rooms where there’s a number of people injecting, is the cause of 000’s of hepatitis and HIV infections every year.What we’ve done is provide an effective strategy to help reduce accidental sharing, and then marketed it in a way that makes it more likely that injectors will use it. That’s not ‘creepy’, or ‘celebrating addiction’ it’s effective social marketing of an essential and cost effective healthcare intervention (needle exchange).There’s information on the nevershare syringes at http://www.exchangesupplies.org/and a description of social marketing and it’s potential, athttp://www.exchangesupplies.org/about_us/background/social_marketing.html

  5. “That’s not ‘creepy’, or ‘celebrating addiction’ it’s effective social marketing of an essential and cost effective healthcare intervention (needle exchange).”I do find it creepy. The other quote was from the following question, not a statement. “Where are the lines between destigmatizing addiction, normalizing addiction and celebrating addition?” What would be off limits? Are you doing anything to address treatment shortages or promote recovery? What about other harms? Why this one in this way?What are your organization’s values? What do they prioritize? What do they exclude? More on ours here: http://www.dawnfarm.org/harmreduction.html

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