Here is my recommended list of harm reduction websites that every drug user should check out. While injection drug use is the primary focus on many of these sites, all drug use, including psychedelics and alcohol consumption, is covered.
Harm Reduction International – www.ihra.net
HRI is a leading non-governmental organization working to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights based approaches to drugs. Read more about HRI’s history. Our vision is a world in which individuals and communities benefit from drug laws, policies and practices that promote health, dignity and human rights.
Harm Reduction Coalition was founded in 1993 and incorporated in 1994 by a working group of needle exchange providers, advocates and drug users. Today, we are strengthened by an extensive and diverse network of allies who challenge the persistent stigma faced by people who use drugs and advocate for policy and public health reform.
Injecting Advice – http://www.injectingadvice.com
Injecting Advice is a website that’s been running since February 2007; it offers support and advice to people working in harm reduction services (especially needle programs) and to injecting drug users. The articles on the site cover much of the basic (and some advanced) information to help workers provide the best support to the people they are helping. The site started in February 2007.
Stonetree Harm Reduction – stonetreeaus.wordpress.com
Stonetree is a blog about harm reduction, learning and practice with an emphasis upon how the use of social media can enhance advocacy, professional development and the provision of AOD/Harm Reduction services. Stonetree has no association or affiliation with any organization; it is merely the thoughts and ideas of its originator and other contributing writers. It is a place to experiment with ideas and discuss alcohol and drug issues with an open mind and an open heart. Stonetree advocates that drug policy, treatment and laws should: aim to reduce drug related harms, not contribute to them, recognize drug user’s basic human rights, including the rights to self-determination, and to be provided treatment in a nondiscriminatory manner and be grounded in previously demonstrated evidence, or failing this, be open to scientific evaluation.
The Harm Reduction Cafe is an attempt to increase the sense of connectedness in the harm reduction community. Over the years, we’ve met people at conferences and other events who share a common goal or philosophy. But not everyone gets to go to a conference, and even when they do we still meet people who feel isolated for the rest of the year.
What we want to do with this site is provide a way of getting passionate harm reduction advocates to meet more regularly both online (with virtual cafes on Twitter and in Google hangouts) and in person at Cafe events. We (HIT) will be organizing a number of these get together for free, which will all be announced here and on our Facebook and Twitter profiles. But we are also giving you the tools to set up your own events. You can meet other advocates here and announce any events you’re planning.
International Overdose Awareness Day – http://www.overdoseday.com
International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Wear Silver to show your support.
M.A.P.S. – http://www.maps.org
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) was founded in 1986 and is a non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. We envision a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits. We further our mission by developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines, training therapists and working to establish a network of treatment centers, supporting scientific research into spirituality, creativity, and neuroscience, educating the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.
HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol – http://www.hamsnetwork.org
HAMS is a peer-led and free-of-charge support and informational group for anyone who wants to change their drinking habits for the better. The acronym HAMS stands for Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support. HAMS Harm Reduction strategies are defined in the 17 elements of HAMS. HAMS offers support via an online forum, a chat room, an email group, a Facebook group, and live meetings. We also offer harm reduction information via the HAMS Book, the articles on this web site, and the HAMS podcast. HAMS supports every positive change. Choose your own goal – safe drinking, reduced drinking, or quitting alcohol altogether.
It does not matter how much or how little you drink; if you want to make a change you are welcome here. If you are concerned that you might have withdrawal symptoms if you quit drinking all at once, please visit our taper page for information about how to taper off alcohol.
Drink and Drug News – drinkanddrugsnews.com
Drink and Drugs News (DDN) is the website of Drink and Drugs News magazine. DDN is the monthly magazine for all professionals in the drug and alcohol field. Published independently by CJ Wellings, it is circulated worldwide through hard copies and on the DDN website. DDN provides news, features, research, and the latest thinking in the field in an attractive and convenient format. With thriving comments and letters pages, the magazine has become the place where people working with substance misuse have their say – and know it will be read. Informative and inclusive, each edition of DDN signposts readers to more information and resources, and it is relied on as the regular update and networking tool.
Pill Reports: Ecstasy Test Results Database – www.pillreports.net
Pillreports is a global database of “Ecstasy” pills based on both subjective user reports and scientific analysis. “Ecstasy” is traditionally the name for MDMA based pills, however here we also include closely related substances such as MDA, MDEA, MBDB. Pills sold as “Ecstasy” often include other, potentially more dangerous, substances such as methamphetamine, ketamine and PMA. By identifying dangerous adulterants, Pillreports performs a vital harm reduction service that can prevent many of the problems associated with “Ecstasy” use before they happen. Prevention is always better than cure, as you cannot cure death.
Ecstasy Data – www.ecstasydata.org
EcstasyData is an independent laboratory pill testing program of Erowid Center. Launched in July 2001, its purpose is to collect, manage, review, and present laboratory pill testing results. The information is made publicly available to help harm-reduction efforts, medical personnel, and researchers. While some government agencies analyze pill contents, they choose to restrict the data they collect and make it private to law enforcement interests.
Dance Safe – dancesafe.org
DanceSafe has two fundamental operating principles: harm reduction and peer-based, popular education. Combining these two principles has enabled us to create successful, peer-based educational programs to reduce drug misuse and empower young people to make healthy, informed lifestyle choices. We are known for bringing adulterant screening (a.k.a., “pill testing,” “drug checking”) to the rave and nightlife community in the U.S., and for distributing unbiased educational literature describing the effects and risks associated with the use of various drugs.
Our mission is to provide open discussion of harm reduction techniques and positive support. We promote the use of harm reduction tools such as test kits, and offer guidance and support with regards to harm reduction when using drugs. We encourage discussion of scientific, medical, philosophical understandings, and many of us can provide advice based on life experiences, an invaluable asset for someone who may be experiencing a similar issue. We are eager, willing, and prepared to guide or ‘tripsit’ users who may be having a hard time while under the influence of drugs.
Our experienced team understands the good and bad side of drugs and we understand that individuals will use drugs regardless of their current legality. It’s for that reasons that we are here to help by reducing the risks associated with reckless or uninformed consumption of drugs in all environments while providing support and assistance to those who need it. Whether you need someone to talk to, advice on safe dosage, a simple water bottle, or supportive techniques for recovery we are here for you.
The Fix – www.thefix.com
The Fix is the world’s leading website about addiction and recovery, featuring a daily mix of breaking news, exclusive interviews, investigative reports, essays and blogs on sober living, lifestyle and cultural resources, as well as knowledge and wisdom from expert counsel. We also offer rigorously reported Rehab Reviews, with input from thousands of alumni, plus extensive directories and practical guides for dealing with addiction and related mental health and life issues. Further, The Fix provides an extensive forum for debating relevant issues, allowing a large community the opportunity to express its experiences and opinions on all matters pertinent to addiction and recovery without bias or control from The Fix. Our stated editorial mission – and sole bias – is to destigmatize all forms of addiction and mental health matters, support recovery, and assist toward humane policies and resources.
Talking Drugs – www.talkingdrugs.org
TalkingDrugs is an online space reflecting the global challenge posed by illicit drugs. It provides an opportunity to share stories and insights that will help us find better ways to control currently illegal narcotics and prevent them from causing excessive harm. Talking Drugs also gives people the opportunity to get involved in the debate by supporting other organizations that are working around drug policy and harm reduction.
Global Drug Survey – http://www.globaldrugsurvey.com
We strongly support harm reduction and accept that pleasure drives the majority of drug use, which for most people most of the time is not a source of distress or harm in their lives. We acknowledge that drugs can be harmful but that the risk of harm can be significantly mitigated by the adoption of common sense risk reduction strategies. We seek to limit the harm drugs may cause individuals and their communities by being honest, open and transparent about drug use and sharing our findings with the public without government or funder interference.