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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Chemsex Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to give harm reduction organizations and syringe services programs an overview of chemsex We have received questions about booty-bumping and supplies for a kit, how to reach communities of men who have sex with men who are engaged in chemsex, and what supplies and resources to have available for sex workers using stimulants. As providers of harm reduction services, we have an obligation to ensure adequate resources for all clients.

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Holiday Break

Our annual holiday break will run from December 23 through January 5. Our last day of outreach in 2019 will be December 22, and we will resume outreach on January 6, 2020. Please prepare for the break by stocking up on the supplies that you and you friends will need, and then some! During the 2-week break, we will continue providing cell phone delivery services (except on December 25 and January 1).

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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Where are we today?

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CRA Newsletter
Chicago Recovery Alliance
3110 West Taylor Street
Chicago IL 60612
© 1992, Chicago Recovery Alliance
Any Positive Change