I live in Northwest Tennessee, also known as Region 6N by the state (at least as far as Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist jurisdiction is concerned), a nine-county region home to about 254,000 people. 2014 — that’s when I moved here. It’s also when I picked up opioids as my drug of choice. I’ve been using illicit opioids, both heroin and diverted prescription opioids, regularly since then.

Although now I’m “in recovery,” I’m still in touch with people who use opioids around here. I give out syringes, naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and the like. I educate people about safe drug use…


I grew up with a super-problematic drug user of a mother. For her, someone who couldn’t ever use drugs responsibly, being in “recovery” meant not using drugs.

For most of us, however, using drugs without going completely overboard is possible. And, even though I’ve also proven myself to be a long-term, often-problematic drug user, I consider myself to be “in recovery” even though I still use drugs.

Due to mounting drug-related legal issues, I turned to medication-assisted treatment — a.k.a. Suboxone — in September 2019. …


Read more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

Since I first learned about and became interested in harm reduction — they virtually happened simultaneously some three years ago — I’ve long sought out a manual on building harm reduction (HR) infrastructure: Harm Reduction for Dummies, if you will.

I still haven’t found it.

Grassroots harm reductionists and fledgling HR-related organizations in places without any harm reduction infrastructure have no clue how to grow. We don’t know how to do this stuff. The only people who do are those in areas with better-developed HR infrastructure (e.g., New York, California, Canada, Portugal).


Find more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

Here in Tennessee, we ain’t got shit in the way of harm reduction. We’ve got six syringe services programs (SSP). And other than the often-exclusionary 12-step programs, the outdated rehabs, and the entirely-bullshit drug courts, probation, and parole programs, that’s about it.

But why? Why is Tennessee — and much of the South, particularly the rural South, by extension — so ass-backwards when it comes to harm reduction or drug policy? Why don’t we have what New York, California, or Washington has?

Is it because we’re evil?

Maybe because we hate “druggies”…


Read more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

When we think of harm reduction, most people rarely think of helping people who sell drugs. Rather, helping general drug users out pops to mind.

In actuality, many illicit drug users sell drugs to others or otherwise facilitate the exchange of illicit drugs through one another. This includes acting as a “middleman” and using connections that your drug-using partners make available when you attempt to source drugs together by piling both of your money together, for example, among many other types of facilitation, harboring, or furthering.

Either way, no matter how many…


Read more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

Harm Reduction Coalition

Simply having Narcan, Evzio, or generic injectable naloxone kits around isn’t good enough when it comes to effectively responding to opioid overdoses. Rather, the effective administration of naloxone in cases of likely or certain opioid overdose is more about being educated about such.

In my personal experience, drug users across Northwest Tennessee (NWTN) are typically not aware of what naloxone or Narcan is, let alone how to use it effectively.

As with everything else on this website, this publication is not meant to be perused or referenced as an authoritative source. …


Read more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

Mitragyna speciosa leaves in the wild, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Kratom trees, scientifically known as Mitragyna speciosa, are indigenous to Southeast Asia. Their leaves have been consumed by locals for hundreds, if not thousands, of years primarily for helping laborers work harder, longer, and more effectively. Kratom, which refers to the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa trees, has also been relied on for various medicinal and social applications by people indigenous to Southeast Asia.

More recently, in the past couple of decades, the Western world has grown fond of kratom. The United States is currently the world’s number-one national consumer of the drug…


Read more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

Without laws, uncivil action would permeate society. Laws are essential to maintaining order. Few of us would be willing to live somewhere that doesn’t have laws or an active law enforcement presence.

Unfortunately, across the United States, existing laws unfairly treat people who use drugs. This is especially true in Tennessee — take syringe laws in Tennessee, for example. Further, law enforcement might not enforce more recent laws that treat people who use drugs more favorably.

Here are several ways that Tennessee laws and law enforcement officers hurt Tennesseans who use drugs.


Read more like this at Tennessee Harm Reduction.

I’m not an attorney. I’ve never practiced law.

As a long-term drug user, unfortunately, I’ve had a few run-ins with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Many drug users, especially those who suffer from substance use disorder and have for a long time, share these same legal struggles.

In my nine-plus years of regular drug use, one thing I’ve learned is that the average drug user spreads far more misinformation about drugs than they do truthful, accurate information about drugs. …

Daniel Garrett

Long-term drug user, writer, practicing harm reductionist. Lifelong resident of rural Tennessee. Director of Tennessee Harm Reduction.

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