Drug Awareness Group Gets National Recognition 

Drug Awareness Group Gets National Recognition 
Posted by FoM on February 02, 2001 at 09:13:39 PT
By Coulter Bump, Camera Staff Writer
Source: Daily Camera
Colorado Harm Reduction Practice, an ecstasy awareness organization, this week became the first group of its kind in the state to receive official recognition from the national organization DanceSafe. DanceSafe is a nonprofit harm-reduction organization based in Oakland, Calif., that promotes safety among drug users at rave parties and nightclubs. 
The approval Wednesday means that the Colorado group, DanceSafe's 14th chapter, will be able to use the national organization's logo as it provides people with ecstasy information. "Our group was founded by kids who realized that as things go on, things are going in a negative direction," said Nick Reinig, 19, a Colorado State University student and a volunteer with the state group. The organization that formed in March has about 15 volunteers across the state, including some in Boulder. DanceSafe and the Colorado group aim to provide users of "dance drugs"  including ecstasy, ketamin, GHB and crystal methamphetamine  with information that might prevent medical emergencies. The national organization also provides content tests for ecstasy tablets at many raves and offers personal testing kits online, both on a donation basis. Jo Ruder, program manager of the city of Boulder's behavioral health program, said she doesn't understand how the group's service helps drug abusers reduce or end their use of drugs. "I don't think it's a good thing," she said. "In this specific case it is promoting drug use." To determine whether a pill contains ecstasy, according to DanceSafe's Web site, the organization scrapes off a piece of it and treats it with a testing solution. The group notifies the user of the result. A positive result does not mean the pill is pure. If the result is negative, the pill is a fake, but the group cannot tell a user what is in it, according to DanceSafe. Derek Coxon, a volunteer with the Colorado group, said personal testing kits determine what substance is in a pill. To do this, it uses a "Marquis reagent" that changes colors in the presence of certain drugs. Coxon said the organization's testing kits are accurate in determining whether an ecstasy tablet has been adulterated with substances that are more dangerous than pure ecstasy. But Colorado Harm Reduction, unlike the national organization, has not used these tests at raves because they are controversial, Coxon said. Coxon works specifically with promoters in trying to get the Colorado group "managing booths" at raves. He said many production companies, even when the site managers support their cause, are cautious about inviting them to the parties because of the negative message it might send to the public and the police. "The state is looking down on these right now," Coxon said. "It's really the state's fault that we can't do this." Coxon said often young people who visit the booth will take their pills no matter what the test results are. Lt. Jim Smith with the Boulder County Drug Task Force, said people who test their pills sometimes prefer to know the quality of their ecstasy rather than whether the pills are unsafe. Smith said testing a drug and then returning it to the user might be considered an act of drug distribution, which is a felony. "The fact that they get a drug tested doesn't excuse any criminal penalties," he said. Meghan Knapp, Colorado Harm Reduction coordinator, said that by maintaining a neutral stance on drugs, the group has been most effective with drug users. The group also floats throughout a party looking for problems and offers help to anyone who needs it. Knapp also said the group is working to train each volunteer in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Source: Daily Camera (CO) Author: Coulter Bump, Camera Staff WriterPublished: February 2, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Daily Camera. Address: Open Forum, Daily Camera, P.O. Box 591, Boulder, CO 80306 Fax: 303-449-9358 Website: Contact: openforum Feedback: DanceSafe Articles - DanceSafe
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on February 02, 2001 at 11:14:41 PT:
No, it's not!
"I don't think it's a good thing," she said. "In this specific case it is promoting drug use." Bullroar! That's what they all say. Harm reduction means, if you are going to use a drug, let us make it as safe as possible. The Anti's prefer paraquat-laden cannabis and fake Ecstasy so that more people are harmed, and their propaganda mill is enhanced.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: