Earlier this month, over 1,500 of us gathered in San Diego to demand access. We demanded access to naloxone, sterile syringes, consumption facilities, HCV treatment, evidence-based drug treatment, human rights, social justice and so much more…
We demand access because it is the first step to providing health and dignity to individuals and communities impacted by the harms associated with drugs and punitive drug policies. Access sits at the intersection of many things which we demand as a community.
We demand access because of the pain, anger and sadness we have experienced as a community. We also demand access because we believe joy, laughter, hope and health should be extended to all people.
Over the course of the next 4 years we will continue to demand access, ensuring in uncertain times, nobody is left behind. As Monique and Daniel mentioned last week, the spirit of harm reduction is unabashed love, support, and advocacy for those among us whom society casts out. Demand access is driven by our compassion and calls us to balance vulnerability, reflexivity, and hope.
We believe that the keystone to evidence-based and human rights focused drug policy is one that envisions access as inclusive of all people, regardless of whether or not they use drugs.
The personal stories in this email were compiled during the 11th National Harm Reduction Conference in San Diego. Participants were asked to write their own stories about how access—or lack thereof —has impacted their lives.