This page contains a few resources that I’ve had success with. I also include educational media I’ve made myself.
Educational Content I’ve Made Myself
In early November 2019, I created a brochure about harm reduction titled “All About Harm Reduction.” If you’re interested in using this brochure yourself, I can remove the mentions of “Daniel Garrett” and my website — this website — from the brochure below.
Here’s another brochure I recently made titled “Sticks, Pricks, and Pokes: a Law That Protects LEO From Needlestick Injuries.” It’s intended to inform law enforcement about T.C.A. 40-7-124, a 2015 law that grants people in possession of syringes that could be construed as drug paraphernalia (a violation of T.C.A. 39-17-425, a Class A misdemeanor) immunity from being charged with or prosecuted for violating T.C.A. 39-17-425.
If you’re interested in using one of these brochures yourself or as part of your organization, reach out to me and I’ll customize my brochures to match your area and reflect your own or your organization’s image.
As you might imagine, being professionally unaffiliated and broke, affording the printing of these two brochures for community distribution is difficult. I reached out to North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN) recently to see if they’d print these brochures for me and mail them to me, to which they obliged.
The least I can do is mention that NASEN was willing to help me out, so, if you’re in a similar situation to me, maybe NASEN will help you out, too. Thanks again, NASEN — more specifically, Stephanie Prohaska.
Where to Find Harm Reduction Supplies in Tennessee
A Betor Way is a syringe services program (SSP) founded in August 2019 that operates in Memphis. Another SSP in Memphis is the Memphis Area Prevention Coalition’s Safe Point. These are the only two SSPs in West Tennessee.
The Shelby County Health Department, which covers Memphis, operates a needle disposal program that provides participants with sharps containers and disposes of them once full.
Street Works, one of the state’s oldest, is in Nashville.
East Tennessee is comparatively rife with syringe services programs, at least three that I know of: Syringe Trade and Education Program of TN, or STEP TN, of Chattanooga and Johnson City (operated by Cempa Community Care) and Positively Living of Knoxville. Samaritan Central also assists with services in all three locations, but there’s no separate operations run by Samaritan Central itself.
I understand Project ACT of Knoxville is a now-former SSP, the organization’s duties being assumed by Positively Living at some point from 2018 to now.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services employs 21 Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists (ROPS) who hold town hall-style naloxone trainings and give out free naloxone. To find your ROPS, look here.
Where to Learn About Harm Reduction
Next Distro is a mail-based harm reduction supply distribution organization based in New York. It’s primarily operated by Jamie Favaro, a harm reduction community figure who I’ve crossed paths with a time or two. You can get things like syringes, naloxone, and other supplies and/or education from Next Distro by clicking here.
FentAware is an organization based in Nashville that distributes fentanyl test strips to people for free through the mail.
In Tennessee, as far as I know, it’s legal to receive syringes. You can purchase clean syringes on diabetes supplies websites like DiabetesSupplies4Less. I’m not sponsored by this company and the link above is not an affiliate link — I have had experienced success with DiabetesSupplies4Less and you can, too.
You can also look to websites like Reddit, particularly the r/Opiates subreddit, for help finding free harm reduction supplies. You should use Next Distro and diabetes supplies websites before turning to online forums such as r/Opiates for help finding harm reduction supplies. However, I have personally experienced success locating harm reduction supplies at no cost by perusing r/Opiates. For example, this subreddit is where I became connected with Tracey Helton Mitchell and Next Distro, as well as picked up tons of other information about harm reduction in general.
One such publication is “Getting Off Right,” a safety manual that tells you everything you need to know about using drugs safely as an injection drug user.
There are tons of harm-reduction-related information sources across the Internet. You’ll find that the Harm Reduction Coalition of New York City, New York, has tons of good work available that you can learn from.