Stimulus Connect 9: Harm Reduction & Drug Selling
February 8, 2021

Illegal drug markets provide drugs that governments and regulatory bodies prohibit access to. The current drug laws perpetuate harm through the failed “war on drugs”. Historically in Canada, societal responses to people who sell drugs include demonizing those engaged in selling while calling for increased levels of law enforcement, criminalization and punishment as a way of trying to prevent selling and using from taking place, which further feeds the drug war rhetoric.

People who sell illegal drugs play a pivotal part in our society. This necessary service provides access to a wide range of essential drugs that many Canadians need to survive and thrive. Additionally, people who sell drugs play an important role in drug cultures, in communities and oftentimes are people who use drugs. Their work is varied, and some sellers contribute to harm reduction efforts through their role within the illegal drug market.

Most Canadian harm reduction organizations seek to reach people who use drugs who are at risk of STBBIs and overdose. These organizations occasionally engage people who sell drugs working to increase the reach of harm reduction education, drug market alerts, drug testing opportunities, and harm reduction supply distribution.

This #StimulusConnect considers: What are some harm reduction strategies that people who sell drugs implement? What is their role in reducing risks associated with drug use? What are the experiences of people who use drugs? The crucial role of people who sell drugs is rarely discussed. Please join us as we Connect.

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