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Colourful collage of drawings and photographs, showing support don’t punish messages and activists.

Gesturing to What is Possible: Drugs Users Supporting Each Other

Gesturing to What is Possible: Drugs Users Supporting Each Other

In 2020, Peter Krykant established the first grassroots mobile safer consumption site, reliant almost entirely on volunteer labour and providing as safe a venue as possible for Glasgow’s most precarised drug users. Aura Roig is the Director of Metzineres, a community hub founded in 2017 as the first integrated harm reduction programme by and for women and non-binary people who use drugs in Catalonia.

Drawing on these experiences, this wide-reaching conversation with Juan Fernández Ochoa will look at mutual aid practices based on the lived and living experiences of people who use drugs. Challenging the idea that all we can do to respond to structural violence and neglect is ask the state for services, this conversation will instead contemplate what kinds of [systemic] change are made possible when we prioritise people supporting each other.

Aura Roig Forteza is an international advisor on harm reduction, human rights and gender. She is the founding director of Metzineres: Providing Shelter for Womxn Who Use Drugs Surviving Violence, the first harm reduction program only for women and non-binary gender people in Spain.

Juan Fernández Ochoa works with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) as the global coordinator of the Support Don’t Punish campaign, a decentralised initiative promoting mobilisation to end the “war on drugs” and build sustainable alternatives. Juan believes in full-spectrum harm reduction and collaborates with Abolitionist Futures

Peter Krykant is Project Lead with the charity Cranstoun leading on new and innovative ways to create system change through implementation of evidence based harm reduction practice. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Release Drugs. Peter brings his own personal experience of public injecting drug use and criminalisation to his work and activism, he opened the first (unsanctioned) drug consumption room in the UK which operated from a decommissioned ambulance in Glasgow at the height of Scotland’s drug death crisis and Glasgow’s HIV outbreak.  He works closely with a range of leading academics, politicians and organisations like Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Leap UK and Drug Science to help shape and outline key practical measures to tackle in particular Scotland’s drug death crisis.


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