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‘This might save a life’: Harm reduction TikTokers are taking to the platform to share information on safer drug use practices

'Harm reduction is just as important as abstinence.'

 

Cecilia Lenzen

IRL

Posted on May 8, 2022   Updated on May 9, 2022, 12:28 pm CDT

Harm reduction workers are using TikTok to share information on safer drug use practices.

One harm reduction peer worker in Oregon named Avi, (@gefilteb1tch) on TikTok, has been using the platform to repeatedly share tips and tricks for partaking in substances safely. The TikToker has about 6,700 followers on the platform as of Sunday, and her content has been met with a warm welcome by many viewers.

“Harm reduction is desperately needed on this platform. Thank you,” one viewer wrote in a comment on one of Avi’s videos.

@gefilteb1tch Reply to @flowerchildchelsea @junkie.slut #harmreduction #stigmakills #housingfirst #safesupply #traumainformedcare #decrim ♬ original sound – Avi

In one video, Avi shared advice for drug users. They note that even if someone’s drug use is only social or recreational, they should carry Narcan. Narcan, known generically as naloxone, is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. Naloxone can be administered nasally or injected and is available over the counter at any pharmacy.

Avi also recommends always doing drugs with a buddy present — and if you can’t have a friend present, call Never Use Alone at (800) 484-3731 to have an operator stay on the line with you while you use. The organization’s mission is to provide a life-saving point of contact for people who use drugs to help increase their odds of surviving an overdose or fentanyl poisoning.

These tips are important, Avi says, as fentanyl can be present in any pill or powder substance that hasn’t been tested for it. Plus, any drug user can overdose, especially if they don’t have opioid tolerance.

In another video, Avi shared more advice specifically relating to opioid usage.

The TikToker tells viewers “don’t be afraid to cook your shot!” They’re referring to heating opioids for 10 to 30 seconds. Avi claims this won’t ruin the drug, but should help kill a “notable amount” of bacteria and viruses.

Avi has also stitched other harm reduction workers on TikTok, like Zack (@zacktheharmreductionguy). The TikToker, who has about 5, 600 followers, also shared safe drug use practices.

In one recent video, Zack flashed a drug test at his camera, reminding viewers to crush and test their “bars”, or Xanax, before using them.

@zacktheharmreductionguy #zacktheharmreductionguy #syringeexchange #harmreductionworker #harmreduction #bars #partying #testyoursupply ♬ original sound – Zelda

His video attracted mostly positive support, but one viewer commented, “Hell yeah, better to flush the fuckers tho.”

In reply to the comment, Zack wrote, “sometimes we aren’t there yet! harm reduction is just as important as abstinence.”

The Daily Dot reached out to TikTok users @gefilteb1tch and @zacktheharmreductionguy via TikTok comments.


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*First Published: May 8, 2022, 11:51 am CDT