Contrary to the sentiment behind the War on Drugs, punishment is not an effective deterrent to drug use. Most Americans receive a fear-based, abstinence-only form of drug “education” in school, which does little to teach people about the true effects of drugs, the many reasons that influence people to use them, or how to reduce associated harms. When some people inevitably satisfy their curiosity about drugs or notice their loved ones are doing so, the lack of factual, comprehensive drug education leaves consumers at a higher risk of drug-related illness, hospitalizations, psychological consequences, and death. Studies show that honest, harm reduction education works better than abstinence-only models.

I invoke a harm reduction approach that helps parents, teachers, event organizers, businesses, and government agencies create safer, healthier environments and effectively advocate for public health options in drug-using populations. Drawing on nearly a decade of policy and community education experience, my work is informed by the way drugs intersect with our country’s history, scientific research, public health, law enforcement, and institutional racism and other forms of prejudice.

My approach is evidence-based, holistic, compassionate, and growth oriented. Pricing is competitive and negotiable. 

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.

For Parents & Teachers

Traditional drug education curriculum did nothing to prevent drug-related crises. Rather than pretend scare tactics are working or that drug use isn’t happening, the harm reduction philosophy acknowledges that risky behaviors are inevitable and impossible to eliminate and seeks to fill in the gaps by equipping people with the tools to mitigate those risks. Everyone should know how to make more informed decisions. Harm reduction is not about “enabling” risky behavior; it is about reducing the spread of diseases, reducing injury and illness, reducing the prevalence of chaotic drug use, and saving lives. 

Young people are more exposed to drugs than ever before, and they receive conflicting information about drugs through popular media and advertising. In grouping all illegal drugs into the same “bad” category and failing to provide real drug education, our laws have left everyone vulnerable to fatal mistakes. A teenager who realizes authority figures lied about marijuana might think the dangers of fentanyl have been exaggerated, too. 

Parents, teachers, and counselors should be able to identify when a young person is using drugs. They should know how to make themselves approachable and trustworthy. They should know how to answer questions and refer young people to the right resources without making them feel fear, shame, or further isolation – emotions that all contribute to drug-seeking behavior. Even focusing too much on “helping” can cause young people to pull away, so word choices and communication strategies are paramount. 

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, counselor, or other professional who works with youth, I can help you have the “drug talk” with your kids.

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.

For Festivals & Events

Events, conferences, and festivals of all kinds include populations of people who use drugs. In the ’80s and ’90s, US drug law attempted to curtail the spread of crack-cocaine – and then MDMA – use by placing a federal ban on knowingly harboring a drug-involved premises.  This scared event promoters and venue owners out of providing much-needed education and services.  In October 2018, the Department of Justice wrote to the Amend the RAVE Act campaign to clarify that providing fact-based harm reduction education at events is not in violation of the RAVE Act. (There’s an embed of the letter exchange at the bottom of this article.)

In creating a space where people gather for work, play, or ceremonial reasons, event organizers hold some amount of responsibility for creating a safe environment for participants. What’s missing from too many events are education and services designed to address the unique public health needs of people in those communities who use drugs. People who organize, host, and work at events in which people are known to be using both legal and/or illegal drugs should know the difference between overwhelm, overintoxication, and overdose of different types of drugs and how to respond to each, if and when appropriate. Events should provide spaces where people can ride out difficult experiences with the help of trained staff and implement additional harm reduction services, such as syringe exchanges or sharps disposal, whenever possible. 

I have received training from the Zendo Project to provide psychedelic peer support for people experiencing difficult altered states. My methodologies for event-based harm reduction come from extensive firsthand experience assisting people in drug-induced states of distress and from the Manual of Psychedelic Support, which is available for free.

No matter what type of event you are organizing, I can help improve the health and sustainability of your community. I provide custom workshops; ongoing support before, during, and after events; educational programming for event hosts, staff, and participants; and long-term harm reduction infrastructure plans. I can help you reduce drug-related emergencies and promote a responsible, informed culture that participants are excited to be a part of.

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.

For Businesses & Agencies

Given the hardships caused by chaotic drug use, incarceration, and overdoses, it’s no mystery why talking about drugs can be challenging. In some way, all Americans are affected by legal or illegal drug use. Our emotional reactions can guide us in this important work to change drug culture and policies for the better. But, if left unchecked, they can also impede strategic thinking, dilute our message, and push away potential supporters.

I help businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies develop strategic messages to communicate about drug-related issues both internally (i.e. staff policies) and externally (i.e. lobbying/advocacy). I help entities define communication guidelines; construct talking points, web content, and testimony; train spokespeople; develop programming and long-term infrastructure; and build their capacity to advocate for drug policy reform. 

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.

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