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Recent News and Updates from TripSit

While it has been some time since we’ve written an update on our blog, TripSit itself has by no means been dormant! In this post, I hope to give an overview of a few major updates we’ve been working on, and an idea of what you can expect from us as 2018 continues. We also post more frequent updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Towards the end of the last year, we were invited to present at several harm reduction conferences in Europe, through which we were excited to find that many harm reduction organisations are actively using our resources. We had many productive discussions with these organisations, and hope to work with them more closely in future. To build on this network, we’re currently trying to compile a list of harm reduction organisations using our resources, or who are interested in working with us. In doing this, we can more easily gain feedback and maintain closer relationships with those relying on our services. For this purpose, we’ve placed several adverts around our websites, but if you work for such an organisation, you can let us know about you here.

We have also put a lot of work into improving our online services, publishing two new harm reduction tools and making a major update to our factsheets service.

We’ve created a DXM calculator, inspired by the now defunct tool that used to be available on DarkRidge. This page allows users to easily calculate their DXM doses based on various preparations of DXM-containing medicines, and their weight. Over the coming weeks, we will be expanding this service to include a greater variety of products, and then add harm reduction information concerning dangerous and undesirable additives.

Our other new tool provides a calculator for dosage equivalencies between benzodiazepine drugs. This is possible because the strength of most benzos are measured in terms of their potency in relation to the ‘gold-standard’ of 10mg diazepam. While the base calculator is now finished, work will continue to provide coverage for a greater number of benzodiazepine drugs, and to provide additional advice based on the differing properties of the various drugs in the class: their tendency towards hypnosis, analgesia, anxiolysis, etc.

We’ve also recently rolled out changes to our online chat system, making it easier for people to get help and to improve the general user experience. Most obviously, our web client received a major update, primarily visible through its entirely redesigned user interface. We’d like to thank prawnsalad and the other developers working on Kiwiirc for their stellar software, which helps support what we do.

After being asked many times by willing potential volunteers how to get involved with tripsitting, we decided to streamline the process. Now, when browsing to our chat page, you can see a ‘Here to Help’ button, which will allow you to drop into the support channels in a supporting role.

We have also made a few load-bearing changes to our assistance infrastructure – provisioning more channels, and balancing users between them. These changes were prompted by a large influx of users following coverage of our network from a popular YouTube personality. While these initially presented a challenge for the community both in dealing with the increased load from legitimate users and trolls, it allowed us to develop a more robust and scalable tripsitting service, able to better serve a larger amount of people concurrently as we grow.

In the coming months, we hope to continue developing our existing resources and finding opportunities for realising new ideas. We’re hoping to place a particular focus, this year, on forging relationships with other harm reduction organisations, and investigating how we can all work together to improve continuity of care, and to provide a more cohesive harm reduction infrastructure worldwide.

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TripSit Chat to become 18+ Only

Since its inception, TripSit has aimed to be an inclusive community for those interested in drugs and beyond. After much discussion, we have decided to change our policy regarding young people using the network, and as such we will no longer allow members under the age of 18 to socialise on our network

We believe that anyone should be able to receive support for drug related issues, so we we will keep #tripsit open to anyone requiring assistance, so long as they meet our 13+ rule as required by the COPA act. However, every other channel on the network, including channels not owned by TripSit, will become 18+ only.

Part of the reason for this change is that people under the age of 18 are still very much in development, and we believe that TripSit at large is a place children and young teenagers should not be exposed to directly. However, they will still have access to TripSit’s resources through our #tripsit and #sanctuary channels, as well as our online resources on the Wiki and factsheets. 

While we believe that young-adults should be able to directly seek support from TripSit, it is not wise for them to be influenced by the wider drug-related community until a later age. Furthermore, in order to encourage a productive drug-tolerant community, we must allow our members to have the confidence that what they say will not be negatively influencing young people who have not had the same education and experience they do.

Starting today, 2016-04-11, TripSit is entering the announcement period before the new policy takes effect. Exactly one month from now, 2016-05-11, users under 18 will no longer be able to make use of the TripSit channels, with the exception of #tripsit and #sanctuary. Community members under the age will have the chance to say goodbye and get the contact information of anyone they want to keep in touch with, and will be welcome back to the network once we can be assured they are over the age limit. 

During the announcement period, we will be making this policy change obvious to the people who use our network. A full list of the changes will be made available on this wiki document.

After the announcment period, the policy change will start to be enforced, and any user found under the limit going forward will be removed. This rule will not apply retroactively, as in we will not remove users under the age of 18 until there is evidence that they are currently under 18 after 2016-05-11. 

Users who are looking to get unbanned can view the unban procedure here. In short, members will need to wait until we can be assured they are over the age limit, or they will need to provide us proof of age as described in the guide. 

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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.

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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.

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TripSit Mobile App Released

unnamedTripSit is pleased to announce the release of our free mobile app, which is now available on the Android Marketplace. The TripSit mobile app connects mobile users with TripSit’s harm reduction resources through a handy and intuitive interface.

TripSit collects relevant and easily digestible data on most recreational drugs, including dosage guidelines and interactions with other substances, and publishes it online for free use, while continuously reviewing it to make sure it is up to date with the most recent scientific and anecdotal research. Our app pulls data directly from our database, and provides users with an easy interface to access this information from a mobile device. Users can look up important drug information using our factsheets, search our Wiki, visualise drug combinations from our combo chart or connect to our live chat to receive help from the TripSit team directly.

Get it on Google PlayWe hope this application will be helpful, and that it will connect users with the harm reduction information they need while out and about. This is a first release, and we encourage users to send feedback or report any issues to the TripSit team – you can find out how to do this by choosing the ‘Contact’ item on the app menu, or simply send an email to feedback [at] tripsit.me

Please note that, as with all TripSit resources, the information is presented is for educational purposes only, and cannot include everything required to make informed decisions regarding drug use; all drugs affect every user differently. Dosage and combination data is provided as a general guideline, not as a recommendation and not as medical advice. If you believe you are in need of medical aid, then seek medical attention immediately. TripSit does not endorse drug use, and while our team makes a best effort to provide accurate information, we do not claim that it is 100% correct. Always do your research and be safe.

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