Injecting Advice

Talking Matters

Written by Nigel Brunsdon on . Posted in .

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.

Writer: Nigel Brunsdon

Nigel Brunsdon is the owner of Injecting Advice. He’s been working in harm reduction since the 1990’s, previously a frontline needle programme worker he now splits his time between photography and developing online resources for drugs workers and users.

Nigel Brunsdon

You might also like

Tips For Supplying Foil

Written on . Posted in .
So foil is now legal in the UK (since September 5th), needle programmes across the country are now (hopefully) stocking it and offering it as a possible tool for change or early engagement route for people who smoke rather than inject their drug o…

Number of Injections

Written on . Posted in .
It’s a standard question on most assessments in drug services, asked in lots of different ways. “How often do you inject?”, “Number of injections per day?” etc. But, why ask it? And how would a worker react if someone was really honest about the a…

Dr Gabor Maté Interview

Written on . Posted in .
Nearly ten years ago, North America’s first safe-injection site opened in Vancouver, B.C., providing sterile needles and other harm-reducing amenities for struggling addicts. A driving force behind this facility for two years was Hungarian-born au…

Images and content © Nigel Brunsdon unless stated otherwise, all rights reserved.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.