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Why You Should Smoke Your Meth

The sociologist who brought a mock safe drug site to Seattle explains harm reduction. Clad in blue jeans and a t-shirt, Greg Scott looks like he belongs on a billboard or the side of a bus, advertising Portland tourism. His arms are sleeved in tattoos. His eyeglasses are retro and purple. His beard is short and red. But he’s from Chicago—DePaul University, to be exact…

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Group tries to educate about supervised consumption of drugs

VIDEO: We’ve all heard of needle exchange programs, but what if there was a program that took it even further? A place where addicts can take their drugs under medical supervision. The facilities exist in Europe and Canada but not here in the U.S. and one group is trying to change that.

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Seattleites get glimpse of safe injection sites

Talking to Ashley Hempelmann, you’d never guess the articulate, intelligent, enthusiastic young woman is just four months removed from shooting heroin in alleys and public restrooms around Seattle. “I was born and raised in Seattle, great family, no history of addiction, no trauma, no abuse, nothing,” Ashley said. “I had all the opportunity in the world. I went to college, graduated, straight-A student. Yet, this can affect anybody.”

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Safe Space, Part 1: A Haven for Drug Users in Vancouver

Through Tuesday, Seattle will be host to a series of installations in public parks across the downtown area—from Occidental Park in Pioneer Square to Victor Steinbrueck Park in Belltown—to raise awareness of the need for a safe drug consumption spaces in the city. Called “Safe Shape,” the traveling 10-by-10-by-10-foot exhibit is a mocked-up safe consumption space designed to give people a better idea of what safe consumption might look like in Seattle.

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Still Wondering What a Safe Drug Consumption Site Would Be Like?

One of the hard things about advocating for safe consumption sites—spaces where people can smoke or inject drugs—in the United States is that we don’t have any examples skeptics can see for themselves. For the next five days, local advocates are hoping to change that. VOCAL Washington, an organization of people affected by the War on Drugs, is hosting a mock safe consumption site at parks throughout the city.

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Experience a Safer Injection Facility

Projected on to the SIF’s outside fabric will be video of people shooting up in unsanitary settings. “Every visitor will experience directly the stark contrast between public injection and SIF injection.” Here is what happens when a sociologist and an architect team up for public health activism.

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High Design Safe Spaces for Heroin Addicts

The exhibit is an artistic expression of resistance to the implicit moral assumptions on which American medicine and psychiatry operate. Where some see disease in need of intervention, the SAFE SHAPE team sees humanity and beauty. Let’s take a virtual walk through of the exhibit, that’s meant to expose people to the benefits of SIFs, and the humanness of its clientele.

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SAFE SHAPE Interview

The Drugreporter team filmed a piece about the Safe Shape during the Drug Policy Alliance conference in 2015. The video features an interview with Greg Scott who came up with the original idea for SAFE SHAPE.