Practices of care among people who buy, use and sell drugs in community settings
May 22, 2020
An article has been published in the Harm Reduction Journal titled “Practices of care among people who buy, use, and sell drugs in community settings.” The article describes the “Satellite Sites” program in Toronto, Canada, which hired people who use drugs (including people who sell drugs) as harm reduction workers. While the popular perception of people who sell drugs is usually negative - with assumptions of predatory or exploitative behaviour - many people who use drugs describe positive traits about the people who sell to them. Buying drugs from someone who is trusted is frequently described as a harm reduction practice employed by people who use drugs. People who sell drugs sometimes also supply clean injecting equipment, provide information on drug potency and refuse to sell drugs that were considered too strong and too likely to cause overdose. This paper provides a fascinating perspective on ways that people who sell drugs engage in risk-reduction practices based on interviews and ethnographic observations with “Satellite Sites” harm reduction workers.