War on Drugs, Policing and Drug User Health

Workshop Information
Event Date: 
Wed, 06/23/2010 - 3:30pm - 5:30pm
Event Location: 
WSU Old Main: 129
Full Description: 

High rates of preventable illness among drug users is one consequence of the war on drugs. Despite the availability of syringe exchange programs, a highly effective intervention to prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, police continue to harass and arrest participants for lawfully possessing new and used syringes. This type of law enforcement activity discourages participation in these public health programs, which leads to unsafe injecting practices and syringe disposal, along with preventable disease transmission.

A participatory action research proposal in New York City serves as model for challenging this aspect of the war on drugs. The report documented the negative impact of policing on drug user health from the perspective of drug users themselves, and pressed for legislation to clarify the legal status of syringe possession and require better training for law enforcement.

Organizer Name: 
Sean Barry
Organizer Email: 
First Sponsoring Organization Name: 
NYC AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN)
Strategies for Building Power & Ensuring Community Needs (housing, education, jobs, clean air…)
Transformative Justice, Healing, and Organizing
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