Some Dealers Are Checking Their Drugs to Keep Clients Alive

published on December 11, 2020 by Rachel Browne in VICE

A new study provides a rare glimpse into the mindset and operations of some drug dealers as they navigate an increasingly toxic illicit drug supply and the potential risks faced by their clients.

“I couldn’t live with killing one of my friends, or anybody. Anybody’s kid,” one man who sells meth in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside told the authors of a new study released last month in the International Journal of Drug Policy. “A lot of us just don’t want to die. A lot of us just want to get out of our own heads for a couple hours, right?”

Based on a small sample size of 26 people who got their street drugs tested at an overdose prevention site in Vancouver, the study’s researchers conclude that those who sell drugs are often overlooked in the crucial role they can play in harm reduction efforts, and are instead assumed to be necessarily malicious and morally bereft, as they are often perceived by law enforcement and the general public…

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