By Eliza Wheeler, DOPE Project, Harm Reduction Coalition, San Francisco
This is part 2 of a series about cocaine and stimulant-related deaths and what harm reductionists can start doing about it. We published the first part last week, which was a collection of thoughts about how to move forward to address stimulant-related deaths. This second part deals specifically with stimulants and “overdose” (not the right word, but we’ll get to that). This is a draft of a manual for speed users created as a result of a meeting with some folks from the Speed Project here in San Francisco. We are looking for suggestions on how to improve this document and welcome any feedback on this draft. We’ve included some great quotes from our discussion.
or speed “overdose”
“When I’m talking about overamping, to me when I’m on speed, right, I’m not happy until the second or third day. I’m trying to get there…the first one is just the preliminaries, the first time you’re not there yet, you’re not in the euphoria or where you wanna be. So I got my sack, the first one I’m snorting, now I’m gonna go look for my rigs, now I take my first shot, ok, now I’m gonna go look for who we’re gonna spend time with. It’s like a whole little adventure, I’m in Alice in Wonderland and all this shit’s happening, and then when you’re into your 3rd or 4th day and then you take that one shot, still a lot of dope around, still a lot of people around, whatever, it’s fun, it’s casual, everything’s happening cool, and you take that one shot all of a sudden you go damn, I shouldn’t have done that, you did one too many and you just crossed the line and I’m gonna tell you how that feels. It feels like if you’ve ever had an experience with crack and you’re takin a hit and you’re taking a hit and everything’s fine, and you take that one hit all of a sudden, paranoid, everybody’s looking at you, you’re in a fishbowl, but with crystal it’s different because it lasts 12 fucking hours…and the shadow people are watching, everyone’s just on that side of the door looking at you, the cops have binoculars three stories away…”—R