Author: Nigel Brunsdon

Emily Talks To: Allan Clear

On a recent trip to the US Emily got the chance to talk to Allan Clear about his role as Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Coalition, or as she puts it “the boss of the bosses”.

Talking Matters

Last week I was invited to speak at the National Service User Involvement Conference in Birmingham. The conference was attended by between 500 and 600 people and I was talking about naloxone. You might not think it, but presentations like this are stressful and remembering why is important.

Although originally I was asked to run a small workshop, this was changed a week before to 15 minutes on the main stage and on the day this was reduced further to 10 minutes. But that’s fine – I’m a fast talker.

Pressure

I’d spent a few days working out how to open the talk, I was using a presentation similar to one I’d given previously but with enough changes to mean that I was delivering something ‘new’. I didn’t write down the exact wording of my opening but it was similar to this:

I’ve been asked to talk about naloxone, I’m not sure why they chose me, possibly because of the film I made with my daughter. But I’m feeling the pressure. You see it’s like this, quite a few of you already think that naloxone is a good idea, some of you though don’t know exactly what it is, and there will even be a few of you who think giving people naloxone is a bad idea.

So I have 10 minutes and if I do this right more of you will think naloxone is something to fight for… and that means more people will live. If I get this wrong though and I don’t manage to convince you, then more people are going to die. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a bald fat guys head, but here goes.

Nothing new

So, I was under pressure, but it’s nothing new. Every time one of us passes on a piece of harm reduction information or advice, every time we speak at a conference, on a training day or even just have 2 minutes with someone in a needle programme we should remember this pressure. What we say and the way we say it matters.

That 2 minutes in the needle programme might just change someone’s life, you might convince someone that change is possible, or give them the knowledge to help a friend who is overdosing.

So take some time to make sure you know what you should say and get good at saying it.

Naloxone Advocacy

Greg Scott and I discuss barriers to naloxone distribution. This includes the legal barriers in some countries as well as the more localised barriers caused by petty bureaucracy and stalling.

What’s it Like to Work in an Injecting Centre

Sarah Hiley talks about how it feels to be working in a supervised injecting centre. This video was filmed when Sarah worked at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney, she now have moved to working in the injecting room in Melbourne, making her the only person to have once worked at all the injecting centres in the southern hemisphere at the same time.

Emily talks to: Stephen Malloy (Part 2)

In this the second part of this conversation with Stephen, Emily got the chance to ask him about the work he does around naloxone advocacy. (Note: this film was recorded while Stephen was in a previous post with the Scottish Drugs Forum).

Injecting Drug Use Among Under-18s

Harm Reduction International has compiled the first global data snapshot on injecting drug use and related HIV and other harms among children and young people under the age of 18.

Young people who inject drugs have specific developmental, social and environmental vulnerabilities. They are less likely to use harm reduction and treatment services and are less informed about risks and their rights. Early onset of injecting, and being a new injector, have been associated with increased risks of HIV and hepatitis C transmission, while specific groups of young people, especially those that are street involved, are at considerably higher risk.

TB Advocacy Guide for People Who Use Drugs

This handbook has been designed to be a practical tool for activists to support them to assess their local circumstances, identify priorities for advocacy and to design, deliver and review their own TB advocacy campaigns. Each setting and context will throw up different issues and challenges for TB advocacy.

TB is a growing threat to people who use drugs, particularly when set against the backdrop of high vulnerability to, and prevalence of, HIV. As such it is important for drug user advocates from drug user organisations and PLHIV groups to help develop a coordinated advocacy response.

Naloxone In The Family

Greg Scott talking about family engagement around naloxone, and the power this has. Including why it’s important for all of us to have easy access to naloxone for all family members even if we don’t expect to have a use for it.


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