Category Archives: Harm Reduction

TripSit releases V3.0 of its drug combination chart

After many months of work, TripSit is proud to announce a new release of its popular drug combination reference chart. This new version includes many corrections, updates and clarifications. We have also moved towards a simpler visual style, to allow users to more easily identify drug combinations. We hope that this update continues to serve as a useful harm reduction tool for both drug users and for harm reduction organisations.

TripSit Combo Chart

Less common drugs, such as PCP and now aMT have been removed from the chart, though the combination information for these drugs is still available on their respective factsheet pages.

As always, this chart should only be taken as an ‘at-a-glance’ reference to the safety of drug combinations, and we hope for it to be a jumping off point for the informed drug user to aid in making sensible decisions with drugs. It’s certainly not intended as a sole reference point! With this release, we also have put a lot of work into describing the reasons and particular dangers of certain combinations, which can be found either at the bottom of https://combo.tripsit.me/ or on individual drug pages on http://drugs.tripsit.me/.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

TripSit Wiki is now open for editing

Since the TripSit Wiki started in 2012, it has grown into a large resource for harm reduction information, which receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. With the advent of our factsheets covering much of the basic information on drugs, our Wiki now functions as a platform for more involved and in-depth articles about drugs and how to use them safely.

Along with many pages including extended information about drugs themselves, we have guides on many subjects including how to help yourself and others with their trips, how to deal with a panic attack, volumetric dosing, cold water extractions and many more.

We have decided to open the Wiki to edits from the public – anyone can now make an account and add to the information. Previously, we required accounts to be approved before they could make any changes. 

With this change, we hope to make TripSit’s resources easier to contribute to, allowing us to work together to provide even more valuable and varied information to the drug-using public, and give people the chance to more easily contribute to a resource which is seen by people all over the world.

If you want to help with the Wiki, you can go right ahead and create an account, but you may want to consider joining our IRC channel to discuss edits and work on changes with other contributors – we can also give you ideas for what needs doing! You can also go here to find out about other ways you can help TripSit, such as editing our factsheet database.

You can also visit this page to find other ways you can support TripSit.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

New Drug Combinations Release

2pointoAfter the initial release of our drug combinations resource over a year ago, its resultant poster has proven popular among the drug community, and has even been displayed by several harm reduction organisations at festivals.

Following feedback from users and ideas from our own team, we have worked over the past few months to improve our combinations resources and now we are pleased to announce the release of the second version of our combination chart, as well as the availability of combinations information directly on our factsheets.

Alongside the new version of the poster, which we have modified to be more easily printable and readable, we have revised a lot of the categorisations to make the actual safety of a particular drug combination clearer for the user.

We’ve done this firstly by splitting the ‘Unsafe’ category into two new categories ‘Caution’ and ‘Unsafe,’ which gives a more clear indication as to how likely bodily harm is from a regular dose of a particular combination; whether a combination should be avoided entirely or if it’s more a matter of the combination making the user uncomfortable with a smaller risk of actual harm. We have also changed a few of the safety categorisations based on new research.

Secondly, we have annotated many of our combinations with information on exactly why the combination is considered dangerous, with more elucidation as to the specific drugs to be avoided when comparing larger drug categories (such as opioids).

Alongside the combinations chart and its associated Wiki page, we have also made the information directly accessible for individual drugs from the ‘interactions’ section of drug profiles on our factsheets website, where you can for example on the DOM page see that interactions of note are annotated with specific information about the combination. The factsheets website has also undergone some additional usability improvements which come with this release.

We are continuing to develop our combinations database, along with our other resources, focusing on clarity and accuracy. Currently we are working on building a central normalised database of drug effects and references, using these to directly annotate our drug database and then create new and better tools for users to access harm reduction information (however note that many references are already available in free-text on the combinations Wiki page).

We hope the second release of our combinations resources increases their capacity to help users make safer and more informed decisions around drug use. If you notice a discrepancy, an entry you feel is incorrect or have a great idea, we are happy to receive feedback via mail to content@tripsit.me or by using the contact form on this site.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

Use of Poppers

rush-poppers-pwd-3-packPoppers is the name given to a group of inhalant drugs, popularly used in the party and festival scene. They most commonly comprise of Amyl Nitrite, though other chemicals of the Alkyl Nitrite family are sometimes substituted.

Historically, poppers gained their initial popularity and lasting reputation, as many drugs do, from the gay club scene, where men would use the dilatory and muscle relaxant effects to make fornication easier and enhance sexual pleasure.

Presently, poppers are available worldwide, and particularly in the UK they are frequently sold by salesmen outside of festivals and large shows, capitalising on their semi-legal status – they are often sold as ‘liquid incense.’

Today, reports have emerged about people at the Parklife festival requiring medical attention after drinking poppers, apparently believing they should be used like shots of alcohol. Alkyl Nitrites are indeed potentially deadly when ingested, and this should always be avoided. If you drink poppers, seek medical attention immediately.

Poppers are most safely used by placing the bottle of the substance near the nose and inhaling for a maximum of five seconds. Within seconds, users will generally experience a rushing sensation throughout their body with a sense of warmth and euphoria which will last a maximum of 3-5 minutes, with the primary effects passing within one minute. The euphoria is often described as being synergistic with other drugs such as MDMA or 2c-b.

The effects occur as a result of the body’s blood pressure being lowered quickly, resulting in blood rushing to the heart and brain, causing light-headedness and an increase in heart rate. With increased doses (generally, amount of time inhaled) users may potentially become unconscious or enter a coma (though it is slightly difficult to reach this point with small bottles which are generally sold to users). Poppers should also be avoided by those with heart problems.

Poppers aren’t believed to be particularly addictive, though the short length of effect may cause users to redose several times, which can cause headaches. Frequent redosing should be avoided, taking breaks to avoid stressing the cardiovascular system, and ensuring that effects aren’t compounded between doses.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest

Indian State to Introduce Opioid Substitution Program

MethadoneManTo mark World AIDS Day the state government of Gujarat, in India, is introducing a free opioid substitution program to registered addicts in the city of Surat. IV heroin users will be given an oral formulation of either buprenorphine or methadone, with the dual aims of reducing the use of needles and aiding recovery.

Both substances are used to treat addiction; as Ritambhara Mehta, head of the psychiatry department at Government Medical College Surat explained, they “[work] against other drugs consumed after taking it. It doesn’t let the patient feel the high once consumed.” Greater access to these treatments is clearly positive, with a long history of their administration having demonstrated significant benefits, including “a reduction in deaths, HIV infection, crime and drug use with improvements also seen in physical and mental health and social functioning.” They are also more effective than any other option at attracting and retaining addicts.

While hardly a new idea, access to these treatments remains a significant problem, with “less than 10% of those in need of treatment” receiving it, according to the World Health Organization. It is presently available at only 35 centres across India, a country with a population over one billion, one million of which are registered heroin addicts, with estimates of the total addict population reaching as high as five million according to a UN report.

The expansion of India’s capacity to provide opioid substitution treatment should be applauded, but we might use this opportunity to think about how we can improve their availability and efficacy, globally.

Barriers to Access

Across the world, many addicts self-administer substances like buprenorphine and methadone to treat addiction due to difficulty accessing these treatments through official channels. Programs like the one beginning in Gujarat often have highly restrictive criteria. A study of one such program in Sweden found many addicts being turned away because they “had hidden their drug use from friends, family, and colleagues and lacked documentation in the form of contacts with healthcare, dependence treatment, social services, or the police.”

In addition, even those who gained access were often subjected to involuntary discharge for “missed clinic appointments, disorderly or threatening behavior, and drug crimes.” Evidently, barring people who exhibit behaviour typical of hardcore addiction from addiction treatment is not the wisest of options.

Finally, and this may be the greatest lesson for improving opioid substitution programs, “all the interviewees voiced the opinion that [Opioid Substitution Therapy] subjects patients to control measures and authority, and some even characterized the treatment as degrading.” If access to methadone and buprenorphine reduces death, crime, and the spread of HIV, then it is well worth considering making it available to those who do not wish to subject themselves to the scrutiny and restriction of freedom of government-run programs.

This is to look only at the consumer side. In many countries, strict and often punitive regulation of substitution treatments is a hindrance to providers, as can be seen in Germany, where poor training and a lack interdisciplinary cooperation are also leading to a dwindling number of physicians able to supply the treatment

Lastly, while buprenorphine and methadone have the highest rate of retention, they do not attract or retain all addicts. They may benefit from supplementary treatments like oral diamorphine, and greater legitimacy for treatments which do not aim at abstinence.

Still, all things considered, the expansion of treatments for addicts is always a positive and welcome development.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterest