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The facebook group helping you take drugs as safely as possible (VICE NEWS)
#1
This article is part of "Safe Sesh", a VICE harm reduction campaign produced in collaboration with The Loop and the Royal Society for Public Health.  

A new way of helping save lives and educate and inform those on drugs, leaping from 0 to 35k members in 8 months.

They are always looking for moderators, bluelight, UKCR and DF has a fantastic communites with many experienced and knowledgeable people.

Reach out to to me if you feel you can help! My Facebook name is Dan Owns. The group is called Sesh Safety.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/7x9v3...-safe-sesh

May have posted this in wrong section, oops
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#2
They need help badly. I took a quick look and someone said "I just found a pill called Oxy 80 should I neck it". The answer was yes FFS!
"But people, who are not very bright, close their minds to new information. Sometimes, perhaps, out of loyalty to opinions the've held for years but the real loyalty we owe is to truth."
 ~ anon via Bongwater
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#3
(28-08-2017, 01:27 PM)MrApollo Wrote: They need help badly. I took a quick look and someone said "I just found a pill called Oxy 80 should I neck it". The answer was yes FFS!

Facepalm
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#4
(28-08-2017, 01:27 PM)MrApollo Wrote: They need help badly. I took a quick look and someone said "I just found a pill called Oxy 80 should I neck it". The answer was yes FFS!

That's how you end up with Czech Neck.
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#5
Its constant 24/7 moderation of comments and posts, its hard work. The more people I can get who are well versed the more efficient I can make the team and the content itself being monitored. 

We have around 50 admins, but its still not enough, we are at 40k now and going strong, and yes those are the type of frequent questions we get from kids who heard their fav rapper talking about oxy and xanax.
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#6
(05-09-2017, 11:33 AM)exalin Wrote: Its constant 24/7 moderation of comments and posts, its hard work. The more people I can get who are well versed the more efficient I can make the team and the content itself being monitored. 

We have around 50 admins, but its still not enough, we are at 40k now and going strong, and yes those are the type of frequent questions we get from kids who heard their fav rapper talking about oxy and xanax.

One of my mate's joined you as a mod. In fact introduced me to you, I gave you the interactions chart. 

I admire what you're doing but he was kicked out for disagreeing with dodgy advice from a clearly much less experienced moderator. Petulance like that is going to make it a bit lonely I reckon. Again, I admire the ethos but you need to swallow your pride a bit if you want experienced people giving you a hand. IMO.

(26-09-2017, 05:57 PM)MrApollo Wrote:
(05-09-2017, 11:33 AM)exalin Wrote: Its constant 24/7 moderation of comments and posts, its hard work. The more people I can get who are well versed the more efficient I can make the team and the content itself being monitored. 

We have around 50 admins, but its still not enough, we are at 40k now and going strong, and yes those are the type of frequent questions we get from kids who heard their fav rapper talking about oxy and xanax.

One of my mate's joined you as a mod. In fact introduced me to you, I gave you the interactions chart. 

I admire what you're doing but he was kicked out for disagreeing with dodgy advice from a clearly much less experienced moderator. Petulance like that is going to make it a bit lonely I reckon. Again, I admire the ethos but you need to swallow your pride a bit if you want experienced people giving you a hand. IMO.

Also why no mention of other HR forums and sites. Erowid and Blulight are old as the hills and the blulight megathreads can be superb. Drugs-forum.com another good one, a bit more militant but good.

There's countless of the things on Reddit as well. Exposing younger people to the places where adults are talking about this shit has to be a good thing right?
"But people, who are not very bright, close their minds to new information. Sometimes, perhaps, out of loyalty to opinions the've held for years but the real loyalty we owe is to truth."
 ~ anon via Bongwater
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#7
we will neverrrrrr get it completely right, we are just over a year old, so much to learn. With such an increase in members so quickly, we simply need moderators.

We have a moderator aptitude test now and 2 weeks screening of all posts by a potential moderator, we can be much more selective.

Now we have the founder of psychonaut wiki and a team member on the admin team aswell as Guy Jones the senior scientist for The Loop and Sazz Barrett who has nearly competed her PhD in psychopharmacology.

They are actually mentioned, we mention them in the page description and ofcourse Reddit is a great source which is actually shared quite often in posts but due to the sheer number of threads. You probably wouldn’t see it.

These dilemmas where there are disagreements now get brought upon an admin review by our most reputable admins, what happens with your friend was most likely not seen by me due to the sheer amount of work that was being under taken.

Now we have a stable good team, but as always, we would always welcome more and I appreciate your words, just message me if you wanted to help out, any UKCR members I would welcome!

Also atleast 5 sites are mentioned in the page description including ukcr, bl, do, erowid , shroomery and psychonaut wiki.

And we often cite these sources for questions so people can look for themselves and we always ask people to cross reference and do their research outside of the group, this again is in the page description.
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#8
I've not been on the Facebook groups for ages. For various reasons, since UKCR's traffic slowed down I haven't really had the energy to re-involve myself in peer-to-peer harm reduction to much extent. Although, to be fair, 2016 would probably have burned anyone out. Based on my experience here, what was particularly valuable about UKCR during the time I was involved up until the PSA came into force wasn't 'harm reduction' per se. In fact, I grew increasingly unconvinced that the harm reduction model is actually all that effective. There's massive amounts of 'harm reduction' information out there and providing basic answers to basic questions often boils down to hand-holding people who aren't concerned enough about harm to type their question into Google. Using common drugs relatively safely is not actually complicated or difficult and the harm reduction model reinforces the status quo in which responsibility-free drug-use is enabled. I'm not saying that provision of harm reduction enables drug use, but that it enables a way of using drugs that is inherently unconcerned with responsibility.

Harm reduction usually starts with very good intentions (I certainly did), but I think it ultimately fails in that aim.

What does seem to work is building communities that model a culture of responsible drug use. By responsible, I mean risk-aware, self-directed, intentional use of substances for whatever reason people choose to use them. This is fundamentally different to harm reduction, although I think peer-to-peer harm reduction is often a precursor of such efforts. While harm reduction is concerned with avoidance of harm by informing people about safety issues and in 'saving' drug users from themselves, a culture of responsible drug use is concerned with enabling people to make well-informed decisions and in managing risk. It recognises that 'safety' is not a binary and that the level of risk people find acceptable varies. It takes a more holistic approach than harm-reduction by placing benefit-maximisation on equal footing to minimisation of harm, recognising that drugs have value within users lives, while harm reduction usually ignores this or avoids discussion on the basis that the topic 'encourages' drug use.

What I saw happening at UKCR while there was a reasonably large community here (though much smaller than the tens of thousands of users on the Facebook groups) was that people would often start off with the kinds of questions that form the basis of harm-reduction efforts. Over time (often fairly quickly), the discussions that formed what I'm calling 'a culture of responsible drug use' would provide a framework for thinking about drugs in a way that empowered users to make their own decisions and more effectively evaluate their own risks. Something I saw repeatedly was new members expecting people to be concerned about whether they were safe or not after people had provided advice about why what they were asking about was likely a bad idea. We usually said it in nicer terms, but a direct statement of the way the culture here approached such issues was: We do not care if you ignore our advice. Reviewed and moderated advice may be useful in a harm-reduction setting - I think the culture here leaned more towards highlighting the fundamental untrustworthiness of all advice (including our own), presenting ourselves as a resource of opinion and shared experience rather than as a source of authoritative answers.

I'd be interested in your thoughts based on what's probably quite a different experience of running/moderating peer-to-peer drug discussion. It probably sounds quite critical, but mostly I'm critiquing my own initial approach with the benefit of hindsight - which isn't easy to do when you're just trying to keep up with traffic.
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#9
I can see where you are coming, how many times do we answer the same questions ( A LOT!)? But sure it boils down to the same thing as anything else in life.. a lot of people do the bare minimum and avoid that if they can.
At least more people are thinking about safety and one answer from this group can spread offline in whispers we'll never know of.

half the kids I've seen ask for advice are barely aware they're harming themselves. The info they get here is better than nothing and gets them checking themselves. I just don't think society is ready for anything more than HR yet, at least not until some of the stigma around drug taking begins to shatter anyway.

This is a really good perspective and I like it a lot. The culture that surrounds drug use is horribly malnourished and starved of good habits for people to observe and imitate while they are learning - if all your friends do half a gram of MD in a night as normal then you're much more likely to end up with the same habits - breaking social norms is difficult and takes strength.

With that said, I think sesh safety is already exposing a lot of people to the idea that using drugs safely is the norm, and being reckless about one's health is not. I really dislike excluding people that could learn from this but it's one of the reasons that I do think we have to be proactive in extinguishing joke-y or serious unhealthy advice.

So in conclusion, I think we're already doing this to a large extent. I also think that in many cases we are overcautious, (don't use benzos for comedowns ever) and that may put off more experienced users, but it makes the page much easier to defend against the inevitable naysayers, and recognises the large exposure that it has.

Also Niamh, if you ever do decide to come back to fb groups, you would be such a valuable asset! Let me know if you do ever decide, and I can introduce you to our group chat (very expierenced users etc) - its changed a lot since you were admin.
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#10
Quote:I just don't think society is ready for anything more than HR yet, at least not until some of the stigma around drug taking begins to shatter anyway

You've seen through what I'm saying here really. I've always been a lot more interested in online harm reduction as a form of activism than as a way to reduce harm. But I think that this goes to the heart of the issue: It honestly outrages me that drug policies are so brutally stupid that they kill people. I've mostly been motivated by a sense of the injustice that drug users are subjected to, which inevitably affects the most vulnerable people most harshly. Harm reduction is like putting up tents in a warzone: Sure, it keeps off the rain but that doesn't seem like the most pressing concern. It's triage when we need infrastructure and organisation and it doesn't lead to anything except an ever-increasing need for umbrellas. We need walls, not canvas. It's reactive when we need to respond to an active and malicious threat against drug users.

The stigma around drug taking isn't going anywhere. If that's what preventing us from being really effective then that's the key issue we need to address, either by building organisation outside of the mainstream or actively challenging it.

(On a side note, I'm unconvinced that encouraging vulnerable and technology naive people to use Facebook - a company known to obsessively collect user data and sell it for political use - for online drug discussion is necessarily an ethical thing to do.)

At a certain point, avoiding these issues turns into tacit support of the mainstream framework which supports the views of drug use and drug users that's the active threat I think should be our main concern. It's not a path people go down intentionally. I mean, why would you want to become TalkToFrank? Not that I'm suggesting that's where you are, but it's a path that the compromises often necessary to deliver harm reduction on the sufferance of never encouraging drug use seems to lead towards.
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