Chicago Group Piloting Overdose-Reversal Vending Machines

Inspired by a similar program in Las Vegas, Chicago Recovery Alliance, a non-profit harm reduction organization who provide syringe exchange and overdose prevention services, had been toying with the idea of putting up vending machines offering naloxone and safer use supplies for a long time. Dan Bigg, the alliance’s founder, used to talk about it regularly before his death in 2018, according to Karen Bigg, Chicago Recovery Alliance’s director of community relationships.

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Should Chicago open safe sites for drug users? There’s already a makeshift network — and it’s saving lives

In abandoned buildings, encampments, vacant lots and other secluded areas throughout the city, drug users have found spaces where they can be watched over while using drugs. This makeshift network — hundreds of places, recovery workers estimate — has grown as groups have distributed naloxone more widely over the last two decades.

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DePaul event encourages attendees to rethink perceptions of drug use

Legalization of cannabis in Illinois after decades of criminalization has spurred many to rethink their perceptions of drug use. DePaul University sociology professor Greg Scott offered a space for this evaluation in an open lecture on drug user advocacy this past Friday, Jan. 24. His lecture, titled “They Talk, We Die: Drug user Advocacy as a Human Liberation Movement,” asked a room packed with students to question their understanding of drug use and users – how their perceptions formed and who controls the narrative.

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The Militant Harm Reductionist Advancing Dan Bigg’s Legacy

Brandie Wilson has her work cut out for her: On October 3, the legendary harm reduction organization Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA) announced that she would be joining them as their executive director. The position was held for 25 years by Dan Bigg—the revolutionary harm reductionist credited with liberating naloxone from the confines of hospitals and putting it in the hands of people who use drugs—until his tragic death in 2018.

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Mutual Aid in Chicago

We are so honored to be included among an incredible list of mutual aid orgs in Chicago! Many thanks Jes Shine for acknowledging that Harm Reduction has always been about mutual aid and that people who use drugs are generous and take care of each other!

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Is stigma more harmful than heroin?

Since America’s founding, our relationship with dependence has been fraught at best, fatal at worst. “Independence!” we cry, charging forth across a country we stole, armed with devices we cannot live without. The terms within which we discuss addiction have been moralized, medicalized, and politicized in waves for the past century. (CRA Director Greg Scott quoted in article).

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