<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Stefanie Jones 323-377-8902</p>
Today, the Drug Policy Alliance released four videos that provide information about MDMA, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Each video is approximately two minutes long and informs the viewer about where the drug comes from, its history, and best harm reduction practices for anyone who may choose to use the drug.
DPA believes that to effectively promote real drug education and safety, one must understand a drug’s effects (both positive and negative), why people use it, as well as its potential risks and benefits. Many drug education campaigns fall back on scare tactics or oversimplification, sending the message that drug use is a uniform phenomenon with straightforward causes and solutions, and provide little context about a drug’s history. Yet honest information is key to preventing problematic drug use. This includes making a distinction between the harm that can be caused by the substance itself and the harm caused by drug war policies.
“Formal drug education often ignores the history of how and why a drug was discovered and who used it before – and after – it was prohibited. We believe that people should be offered balanced information to make their own choices and ensure their own safety – whether they choose to remain abstinent or not,” says Stefanie Jones, director of audience development for the Drug Policy Alliance. “These videos aim to present straightforward, factual information that give you greater context about each substance.”
DPA worked with Dr. David Simmons, a board-certified physician, to present the information. For example, in the video about heroin, Dr. Simmons says, “One critical safety measure is to discourage someone from using alone. This is one of the reasons that a growing number of health experts are advocating for safe consumption facilities, where people use heroin under medical supervision.”
DPA also recently produced thorough fact sheets and media tip sheets on a number of commonly-misunderstood substances:
In addition, DPA maintains dozens of additional well-cited fact sheets on a broad spectrum of drug policy issues, for use by members of the media, academics, advocates and others.