4 good reasons to blog about harm reduction (and how to get started)

There have been a number of great harm reduction blogs in recent years such as Injecting Advice, Black Poppy Junk Mail,  Limit of Shunt and The Australian Heroin Diaries.  I thought it might be high time to look at the importance of blogging about harm reduction.

So why is blogging important?

Ever heard the term ‘getting on your soapbox’.  An orator or activist used to stand on a box so that they could look over a crowd and project their voice further (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soapbox).

The blog in effect is the modern equivalent of the soapbox, but unlike it’s splintery predecessor has far greater potential.

 

Blogging lends itself to:

  1. Broadcasting: The blog has far greater reach than the humble old soapbox, allowing a far wider audience.  When coupled with social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter, blog articles can potentially reach thousands of readers.
  2. Co-creation and Networking: Blogs enable harm reduction advocates from all over the world to meet, collaborate and share resources.  Previously shackled by geography we can now meet and work with like minded people across the globe.
  3. Mobilisation: A trade union in my homeland Australia, has a slogan; “Touch one, touch all”, a rallying cry for worker solidarity.  Of course when your “all’ is three other colleagues in the region, working with a highly marginalised and stigmatised group within  your community (e.g. drug users), your ‘all” might not be enough.  As has been demonstrated recently by the international response to a highly stigmatising article published by the Irish Daily the Independent however, the use of blogs and other social media can be a useful tool for rallying the troops.
  4. Evading Censorship: Harm Reduction faces opposition and detractors that are concerned about the use of public funds to provide important harm reduction information to people who decide to use drugs (For example see The New York Post, Outrage over New York City ‘heroin for dummies’ fliers and Sydney Morning Herald, Complaint lodged against drug guide ).  Grass-roots bloggers are able to disseminate important harm reduction information while side-stepping the public funding argument (this does not mean that we stop fighting for funded harm reduction services but when all you have got  is a computer, an internet connection and the angels on your side, I say ‘keep writing until it gets better).

Getting Started

So inspired?  Want to start writing a blog about harm reduction?  Thankfully blogging is more accessible now, than ever before.

So what are you waiting for, get online, get writing…harm reduction will be digitised!

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