5 More Harm Reduction Posters
If you have been following the #hrmap series of posts you will already be aware that I have been playing with various iPad applications. The idea has been to see if someone with very limited graphic design skills could use very simple applications to produce effective visual messages promoting harm reduction. You can check out the results below.
Needle Syringe Programs: Saving lives since 1984
The earliest details I could find of an organised Needle Syringe Program were concerning efforts by user groups in the Netherlands to improve the distribution of injecting equipment in 1984 (Exchange Supplies).
The operation of the first Needle Syringe Program in Australia commenced in Darlinghurst in 1986 as an act of civil disobedience (ANCD). Rather than prosecute the hospital staff involved the NSW government decided to trial and review the project, a decision that has since saved thousands of lives in Australia.
Needle Syringe Programs: Reduce HIV Transmission
It has been estimated that between 2000 and 2009, Needle Syringe Programs averted 32, 050 new HIV infections in Australia alone (National Centre in Epidemiology and Clinical Research 2009). Despite this Needle Syringe Programs often face opposition both within and outside of Australia. It is important therefore that we continue to show support for our local Needle Syringe Programs.
Syringes: Sterile and Available
A humorous take on the availability of sterile injecting equipment, however the link between money and the provision of sterile injecting equipment is not as tenuous as you might believe.
According to a national evaluation of the cost effectiveness of Needle syringe programs in Australia between 2000 and 2009 it was found:
- For every one dollar invested in NSPs, more than four dollars were returned (additional to the investment) in healthcare cost-savings in the short-term (ten years) if only direct costs are included; greater returns are expected over longer time horizons.
- If patient/client costs and productivity gains and losses are included in the analysis, then the net present value of NSPs is $5.85bn; that is, for every one dollar invested in NSPs (2000-2009), $27 is returned in cost savings. This return increases considerably over a longer time horizon.
Sometimes life is a matter of millilitres
I was playing with an image of a syringe when the thought struck me that sometimes the gap between life and overdose can be measured in millilitres. Fluctuations in purity and tolerance mean that the difference between a therapeutic dose staving of withdrawal, the dosage required to get stoned and the dosage required for overdose can be difficult to calculate. Given this, it’s important that we know what we can do to decrease this likeliehood (e.g. being mindful of potential drop in tolerance, halving our hit etc.) and also be aware of what to do in case somebody does overdose.
Alcohol + Heroin = Overdose
Of course one of the major contributors to overdose is the compounding depressive effects that can occur when mixing heroin with another central nervous system depressant such as alcohol.
Use of the images
I’ve created these posters to be shared, to promote and advocate for harm reduction, so please feel free to share them. I can’t vouch for the print quality of the posters (they were only really produced for online sharing) but you are free to print them if you would like. The only thing I ask is that if you are sharing them electronically is that you acknowledge Stonetree Harm Reduction as the creator of these works.
ANCD (Australian National Council on Drugs) website, Australia commemorates 20 years of needle syringe programs. http://www.ancd.org.au/News-and-announcements-2006/australia-commemorates-20-years-of-needle-syringe-programs.html
Exchange Supplies website, Safer Injecting Briefing. http://www.exchangesupplies.org/drug_information/briefings/the_safer_injecting_briefing/safer_injecting_briefing/section1.html
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (2009) ‘Return on investment 2: Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of needle and syringe programs in Australia’, University of New South Wales, Sydney