Accessing Safety

Participants described how they accessed the site for
physical safety

As participants reached out for clean gear and supervised use, they
found a space free from stigmatization and discrimination.
They discovered acceptance and described
feeling safe

Participants also shared how safer substance use extended
beyond the site

It saved me from catching HIV and Hep C by using clean equipment.

It’s helped me by showing me all this, use a different needle every time I use. And before I’d reuse one, reuse it, reuse it, reuse and I don’t get bacteria now, I don’t get sick, I don’t get Staph infections and abscesses because I always use clean equipment now.

– Participant 20

Back when I first started using, when you look at the photos you’ll see there’s a puddle, its got algae in it. I remember that, going to a puddle to get a hit before we had the site right, you know, so it was like holy! It brought back memories of how I used to do it and now when I do it you know, a big difference you know. It’s a lot better.

– Participant 25

I probably would have only used the tie, the rig and the water and that was about it. And to actually know the importance of the cooker and how cooking it was, and like, using alcohol swabs beforehand.

– Participant 15

The whole concept of the beauty within this site itself. It may look like a piece of crap on the outside, but on the inside it looks a hell of a lot better and you know what it can do for people.

This place makes you feel comfortable. You can come here and feel like normal and accepted and not thought of as the scum of the earth.

– Participant 27

Because this place is, believe it or not, you know when I got clean, this was my safety net.

– Shone

Streetlights are supposed to be to keep you safe so you don’t get hit by cars right, and I was like how [the site] is like a safer place, to me it feels like a safer place to be… They have like the site here, they have, even if you’re not using the site they have the option that you can pick up and take with you so that way when you are away from the site you can still be safe.

– Participant 15