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Author Topic: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one  (Read 5848 times)

Offline nikita70 (OP)

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Well, I'm not sure if I'm entitled to "take the floor" in this terms, still, I thought that since I already have been once or twice in London and the needle exchange' thread got stuck standing still/deadlocked, so to say, I possibly may add my two cents (or rather my two penny).

I don't know if the "pharmacies' needle exchange" is the only option working in London-I suppose there's probably at least few others available, considering such an advanced, high-level and pretty resilient Harm Reduction' system, that UK has developed...

Being kinda "grounded"/"deadlocked" within just one district of the city (Barking, northern-east London, fucking far from center, it takes over 1 hour to get to the city, even if they have really "banging subway" ;D, as Razz once called London Underground) I tried nowhere but just over there, in the "next door pharmacy", my buddy dragged me to after we have had eventually scored (what was a fucking hassle btw I'd never expect to happen in London, but this is another kettle of fish).

After we have entered the right pharmacy (there's not just ANYONE, but few  institutions selected in every district, I believe) my friend turmed to the proper worker and asked him to "carry on"/serve us both.
She was already registered as a drug user in this pharmacy, as I obviously wasn't and even if "the layette for junkies" she was received were so "generous" and contained so many rigs it were much enough for a whole bunch of addicts, of course I insisted her to let me go through the "registration procedure"-well, an inquisition worth of a real journalist... or junkie, lol...

This guy behind the counter ask me for my initials and date of birth, that was all he needed to know. He didn't even bother/harass me for where I am coming from. Not any personal details or so. 
Instead, he wanted to know what my drug of choice is, when and what I was using last time (he meant any kind of hard/illegal shit), my currently "substitution' status" (do I namely fall under some maintenance' program) and, eventually, he gave me a sheet of paper with a schematically drawn human' shape and ask me to sign the places I'm preferable shooting up.

After I marked the groin on the scheme, he wanted to make sure it's where I'm injecting, indeed, so he asked me another one question to confirm.
Then we (me and my friend) got received our junkies' "starter packs"-
it consists of syringes (2ml), needles (the "caliber" and lenght depending on what part of body have you "highlighted" on the scheme-the longer ones are intended for those shooting up their groin, as the shorter/thiner ones for people using those tiny blood vessels-I don't know how you call them in English, in Poland we used to call the procedure "shooting the shadows up"),
there're also cookers/spoons with filters, little baggies with citric acid, antiseptic swabs/pads and a little container inside, so you can easily get rid of the used one "works", safely.

The workers seemed to act professional, without to display/disclose any prejudices-assuming they felt any.

If the "illegal, open-air scoring' system" in London (ok, in Barking, let's not make any sweeping statement) would match/keep up/follow its legal counterpart, so to say, things would be perfect.
What I consider as a little bit strange, because the way it usually works, tends to be exactly the opposite, doesn't it?
I mean, the legal part of "system' in this special case is that one part of the game, what usually fails...
I mean there's PLENTY of rigs plus the kindest treatment you could imagine ever, but nothing to "upload" this awesome "weapon".
Fucking sucks.

Kinda upside-down like, right?

Oh, and I'm going to add some pics as soon as only light enables me to take few shots/frames. :)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 08:04:21 PM by nikita70 »
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A Toda Madre O Un Desmadre

BloodInBloodOutBloodIn

Junkies are like noodles-straight 'til gettin' wet

"Maybe we should follow in the steps of Artonin Artaud and throw our remaining dope in the river,
get flung into gut-wrenching purging withdrawal,drink ayahuasca and eat peyote..." (Roman Totale)

Offline Griffin

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 04:22:17 AM »
That is how the nx in Denver was. They were very, very polite gave me some info about when they are doing, safe shooting classes, and narcan classes where they give you a free prescription for it after they show you how to use it. Asked if I wanted to be tested for hiv or hep c on site, and asked what size and how many I needed. They also gave me the basics of the card they gave me which basically states with the card I can't be given a paraphernalia charge for having my sharps or cookers on me.

They have snacks, and movies playing all day so people can chill there for a bit if they are homeless or whatever. They do syringe cleanups in the city once a week and are always telling people about new laws, or things to be aware of. They are all so nice there, it is nice that people actually care enough to help out people and dedicated a huge part of their life to changing things for the better. Hopefully the laws will come around so that people aren't persecuted for drug but that doesn't seem very likely but hopefully more HR policies are passed soon everywhere.
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Offline Dhedmo

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 04:21:12 PM »
Access to narcan has improved dramatically here, so I hope needle exchanges become the rule, not the exception.

Nikita and Griffin, it would be an immense benefit to users in the states w/r/t harm reduction if your experiences were the norm here.
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Offline nick

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 06:22:19 PM »
Once upon a time we had the best NX in the world.Now we have crap NX and soon we'll have no NX.
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Offline Dhedmo

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 07:49:09 PM »
That's crazy, Nick.
What's the driving force behind the change?
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Offline nick

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 08:28:13 PM »
That's crazy, Nick.
What's the driving force behind the change?

Abstinence based ideology and economics-a little noticed section of the Autumn financial statement was £2.7 billion in central,public health funding is being axed. In theory it will be replaced by monies raised locally through business rates,but the reality is,that's one HUGE cut to public health and substance misuse services are or were entirely dependent on that public health funding.

P.S. Over £1 billion has already been hacked off substance misuse budgets over the last 5 years.So,there's no fat to trim,no slack as it is.     
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Offline Dhedmo

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 09:02:20 PM »
That's brutal.
Very sorry to hear it.
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Offline nick

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 09:17:54 PM »
That's brutal.
Very sorry to hear it.

You should check out our DRD stats(drug related death)-they're going up so quickly your head would spin.

We're also seeing the first AIDS hotspots for a generation and all over drug related harm metrics are up,up,UP.

It's all so needless and sad.
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Offline nikita70 (OP)

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 04:51:28 PM »
Once upon a time we had the best NX in the world.Now we have crap NX and soon we'll have no NX.

Well, I can easily figure out that since people got adopted to such a high level of service, they might feel alerted and concerned watching things turning bad (and no, I'm not going to be acrimonious like "enjoy what you get, because not everyone is as advantaged as you are").
It's quite obvious that we shouldn't let them settle for less (unless we'll jump for joy, pretty soon, being gratitude for just letting us breath and not treat us with death penalty).
I just wanted to share my experiences watching things from an average user' point of view-without to get into how it works, thus my enthusiasm might be a little bit shallow and premature.
However, the "treatment" seemed to be faultless.

Anyway, what impresses me way more than NX (what we in Poland are quite familiar with-this section of HR looks to be pretty well developed over here) is availability and "flexibility" (so to say) of substitution'/maintenance' offer. In Poland it is completely disaster.

Even if they don't mind anything to provide you with some empty "shooting-toys" in any amount, since the "discuss" reaches an essential level of making your receptors satisfied-at that point things becoming just unpassable to them.
This is where any debate is getting stuck deadlocked, kinda Dead Road.
Looks so far there're "just toys" they are generous, concilliatory etc., like "hey, what's the problem, let'em, fucking scum, play and shoot themselves some water with citric acid, if they want..."
You know, some plastic "guns" is one thing, but "the real ammo" (like substitution, run according to the best standards ever) is something completely different. 


 



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A Toda Madre O Un Desmadre

BloodInBloodOutBloodIn

Junkies are like noodles-straight 'til gettin' wet

"Maybe we should follow in the steps of Artonin Artaud and throw our remaining dope in the river,
get flung into gut-wrenching purging withdrawal,drink ayahuasca and eat peyote..." (Roman Totale)

Offline nikita70 (OP)

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Re: London' best practice-how the "legal service" exceeds illegal one
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 04:59:26 PM »
Once upon a time we had the best NX in the world.Now we have crap NX and soon we'll have no NX.

Well, I can easily figure out that since people got adopted to such a high level of service, they might feel alerted and concerned watching things turning bad (and no, I'm not going to be acrimonious like "enjoy what you get, because not everyone is as advantaged as you are").
It's quite obvious that we shouldn't let them settle for less (unless we'll jump for joy, pretty soon, being gratitude for just letting us breath and not treat us with death penalty).
I just wanted to share my experiences watching things from an average user' point of view-without to get into how it works, thus my enthusiasm might be a little bit shallow and premature.
However, the "treatment" seemed to be faultless.

Anyway, what impresses me way more than NX (what we in Poland are quite familiar with-this section of HR looks to be pretty well developed over here) is availability and "flexibility" (so to say) of substitution'/maintenance' offer. In Poland it is completely disaster.

Even if they don't mind anything to provide you with some empty "shooting-toys" in any amount, since the "discuss" reaches an essential level of making your receptors satisfied-at that point things becoming just unpassable to them.
This is where any debate is getting stuck deadlocked, kinda Dead Road.
Looks so far there're "just toys" they are generous, concilliatory etc., like "hey, what's the problem, let'em, fucking scum, play and shoot themselves some water with citric acid, if they want..."
You know, some plastic "guns" is one thing, as "the real ammo" (like substitution, run according to the best standards ever) is something completely different. 


 
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A Toda Madre O Un Desmadre

BloodInBloodOutBloodIn

Junkies are like noodles-straight 'til gettin' wet

"Maybe we should follow in the steps of Artonin Artaud and throw our remaining dope in the river,
get flung into gut-wrenching purging withdrawal,drink ayahuasca and eat peyote..." (Roman Totale)

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