Drug Sellers as Harm Reduction Allies


2011 - Los Angeles, CA


Deborah Peterson Small, Executive Director, Break the Chains, Berkeley, CA
Hilary McQuie, California Director, Harm Reduction Coalition, Oakland, CA
Nathan Messer, Board President, DanceSafe, Seattle, WA
Hiawatha Collins, Board Member, VOCAL, New York, NY
Tyler Butts, Satellite Syringe Exchange, Safer Alternatives thru Networking and Education (SANE), Sacramento, CA
Rachel Anderson, Executive Director, Safer Alternatives thru Networking and Education (SANE), Sacramento, CA
Bill Piper, Director, National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, DC
Malakkar Vohryzek, Drug Reform Strategist, San Francisco, CA

Drug sellers are often blamed, stigmatized, and subjected to draconian criminal penalties. But, while some drug sellers take little responsibility for the health of their customers, others are sterile syringe providers, harm reduction experts, and community educators. What is the role for drug sellers and what do they see as their role? What can advocates and health service providers learn from drug sellers about how to better reduce harms from drugs? And what are the challenges to working with drug sellers in communities and harm reduction programs?