harm reduction

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Oct 24, 2012
Oct 16, 2012

Alcohol and the Law

Alcohol and the Law

Getting an alcohol citation can be expensive, embarrassing, and downright frustrating.   Many students can easily minimize their risk of getting a drinking ticket by becoming informed.   So, before you make any decisions about purchasing or drinking alcohol, make sure you know the law; know the consequences; and know your rights.

Know the Law:  

It is ILLEGAL to….

  • Purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under 21.  This includes attempting to order a drink at a bar or purchasing beer at a grocery store
  • Possess alcohol if you are under 21.  This includes alcohol found in your vehicle or in your hands as you walk down the street, even if it is unopened.   An underage person suspected to be under the influence of alcohol (smells like alcohol, holding an empty Solocup that smells like alcohol, visibly intoxicated, etc) can be charged with underage possession.
  • Use a Fake ID to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol or to enter an over 21 drinking establishment.  Using a Fake ID to get into a bar can still result in a citation even if no alcoholic drinks are purchased or consumed.
  • Purchase alcohol for an underage friend.
  • Drink and Drive.  If you are 21 and over, this means having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08. It is also illegal to consume alcohol while driving or to have any alcohol in your system when there is an unsealed alcohol container in the passenger seat.   If you are under 21, you can get a DUI for having any alcohol in your system.
  • Possess an open container of alcohol in any publicly owned area, such as streets, sidewalks, municipal parking lots, public parks, playgrounds, recreational fields, tennis courts, athletic fields, and in any buildings owned by the town.  This law applies to people 21 and over.   

Know the consequences

Typical consequences for the above offenses include a misdemeanor charge, fines, and court costs.  Additionally, many students are required to complete an 8-week alcohol education class as well as a 1-on-1 alcohol assessment.  A DUI often results in a mandatory 1-year revocation of your Driver’s License for the first offense.  Depending on the situation, a student may also face imprisonment.   UNC Dean of Students has their own set of consequences for students that may include academic and/or housing probation.


Know your rights

If you are stopped by the police, here’s some helpful advice from UNC Legal Services…..

  1. REMAIN SILENT. You are not required to answer questions. Think “UNC”: “Uh, No Comment.”
  2. DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH. If police request to search your person or belongings, state clearly, for the officer and witnesses to hear, “I do not consent to a search.”
  3. DO NOT PHYSICALLY RESIST A SEARCH. If the officer proceeds to search you or your belongings, repeat “I do not consent to a search.” (If the search is not lawful, it can be suppressed, even if they find contraband.)
  4. If asked to present identification, DO NOT present a fake ID.  If you present proper identification and an officer asks to see your wallet to see if you have a fake ID, you can refuse and then ask the officer if you are free to go.
  5. DO NOT SUBMIT TO A BREATHALYZER unless you are stopped while driving a car.  If you are a passenger in a vehicle, you are NOT REQUIRED to submit to a breathalyzer if asked.  You may refuse without legal consequences unless you are underage and visibly intoxicated.  If you are approached on the street, you are also NOT REQUIRED to submit to a breathalyzer.
  6. DO NOT RESIST ARREST. Remain silent. Remain calm. NEVER physically resist a police officer.
  7. IF ARRESTED: State clearly, for the officer and any witnesses to hear, “I am going to remain silent.” Then REMAIN SILENT.

Some additional things to keep in mind if you are stopped while driving….

  1. YOU MUST display your driver’s license upon an officer’s request.
  2. YOU MUST write your name (for the purpose of identification) upon an officer’s request and provide your name and address (and the name and address of the auto’s owner).
  3. If the officer believes you have consumed alcohol, you MUST SUBMIT to a breathalyzer test or your license will be revoked. You have a right to contact an attorney for advice.
  4. You may be asked to perform dexterity tests, but you are NOT REQUIRED to do so. There are NO formal legal penalties for refusing to do so.

For more information:

UNC Legal Services http://www.unc.edu/student/orgs/sls/legal:alcohol

Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) https://www.nccrimecontrol.org/Index2.cfm?a=000003,000005,000272,000274

Jul 16, 2012

New Tools for Needlestick Prevention for SEP workers and Police

Interview with Graham McKinnon, CEO of Protective Outfitters

by Samantha Korb, NCHRC Intern

            When I spoke to Graham McKinnon, CEO of Protective Outfitters, I came across with the feeling that there is no one more invested in not only his business, but in his innovative and lifesaving product, the Ampel Probe. “The Ampel Probe is a hand held tool most closely resembling a pair of large pliers and is used to safely pick up materials that could potentially harm the public, like syringes”. Protective Outfitters, the company started by McKinnon, specializes in this tool that helps protect the lives of professionals in a variety of industries, including law enforcement, first responders, forensic teams and many more communities. McKinnon says “the Ampel Probe is a device that customers have stated protect users from sharps injuries and their associated from diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.”

            McKinnon started Protective Outfitters because he saw the usage of the Ampel Probe as a “win/win situation” for its users and the general public. He connected with the late Stuart Ample, who invented the Ampel Probe in 1995. McKinnon tells me that Ampel actually created the Ampel Probe “after watching an episode of the television series, Cops, where the officer was conducting a pat down of a suspect with his bare hands.” According to a 2000 Sun-Sentential interview, the Ampel probe was actually used in the 1997 murder of Gianni Versace to collect evidence.

            Since its early usage by the Boca Raton Police Department in 1995, the Ampel Probe has received numerous positive testimonies, including a particular testimony that McKinnon recalls. “Two officers, one veteran officer and one rookie, were conducting an arrest of a known prostitute who was HIV positive. The rookie was about to search through her purse when the veteran suggested to the rookie, “Wait a minute, use this tool”. Fortunately, the rookie officer heeded the warning as there were 4 or 5 different syringes loaded with her blood in her purse wrapped in tissue paper to conceal the threat. Using the Ampel Probe prevented the officer from getting stuck by the needles and possibly infected with HIV.” Additionally, McKinnon was informed that several years ago a department of corrections system in Europe has mandated the use of the Ampel Probe by their officers when searching inmates. “Since the use of the Ampel Probe was mandated, it has been reported that not only have accidental needle sticks decreased, but have been eliminated within the department.”

            I asked McKinnon if needle stick resistant gloves were still okay to use. Although McKinnon advocates the use of protective gloves he states, “Gloves alone are not protection enough. None of the glove manufacturers guarantee that the glove will prevent a needle stick 100% of the time… and no one in their right mind wants to be that small percentage statistic where the gloves actually fail.” This is why McKinnon and Protective Outfitters advocate for using PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that offers critical “stand-off distance.” Stand-off distance is that distance between the user and whatever they may come into contact. McKinnon said, “It is only common sense that if you can get the job done effectively without actually placing your hand of what you are searching, your level of safety will undoubtedly increase.”

            McKinnon is a strong supporter of syringe decriminalization as he doesn’t believe it would increase drug usage, but rather he feels it would actually increase safety for law enforcement, potential suspects and the general public. McKinnon says, “By decriminalizing the possession of syringes, suspects will be more likely to willingly notify officers that they in fact have them on their person when questioned. Officers place themselves at a great deal of risk on a daily basis, perhaps more so when confronting citizens while on patrol. By suspects being unwilling to acknowledge their possession of syringes, an officer is at an even greater risk than need be. Every step should be taken in order to improve the safety of officers and the community. Unfortunately, drug use will continue regardless. However syringe decriminalization would certainly be a step in the right direction to increase officer and public safety.”

            He later goes on to say that the Ampel Probe has a variety of applications for a broad range of industries and use at a syringe exchange program or site would definitely be in line with the tool’s purpose. McKinnon says after proper training and practice, the Ampel Probe becomes second nature and seems to act as “an extension of the user’s hand.” McKinnon hopes that more police departments, and all those that may be in professions where contact with hazardous material is an occupational risk, will use a product like the Ample Probe to improve their safety. To him, “it’s really not just about the making money, but more so about increasing safety and saving lives of those that protect us.”

            For more information about Protective Outfitters and the Ampel Probe, call (772) 242-3345 or visitwww.protectiveoutfitters.com.  


Jul 16, 2012

Interview on Syringe Exchange with Rick Basile,Retired Chief of Police, Ithaca, NY

Interview on Syringe Exchange with Rick Basile,Retired Chief of Police, Ithaca, NY

Rick Basile served on an advisory committee for Ithaca, New York’s first syringe exchange program – while he was Chief of Police.

“I learned about harm reduction and syringe exchange programs during an interview,” explains Basile, a 30 year law enforcement veteran. “In Ithaca the interview process to become Chief of Police was unusual. Different people from the community came in and had about 45 minutes to ask me questions. One person, George Ferrari of AIDS Work, asked me how I felt about harm reduction and I didn’t know what it was. George explained to me about syringe exchange programs. Once I learned that they reduce needle-sticks to officers [by 66%], I was sold.”

Officers who receive accidental needle-sticks are at risk for transition of blood borne diseases, such as HIV and especially hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver and can lead to liver failure.

“I had a friend who was in the hospital for a year because of a needle-stick. He still has liver problems,” says Basile. “The other officer who was in the hospital with him with a needle-stick injury didn’t go home.”

According to Basile, the people at AIDS Work approached him to get his endorsement before starting up an exchange program. Even though syringe exchange programs are legal in New York, they wanted police to be on board.

“The people starting the exchange wanted my endorsement because they felt the program would go more smoothly with police support. I was asked to serve on the planning committee as well. We talked about sites to do the exchange, how often to provide the program, how to dispose of dirty needles, and what other services to provide in addition to syringe exchange.”

Apart from benefits such disease reduction and prevention of needle-sticks to officers, Rick Basile was impressed with the harm reduction component of syringe exchange, in which other services, such as HIV testing and treatment, referral to drug treatment programs, and social services are offered to people who participate in syringe exchange.

“As part of the exchange, people received education and started to learn about the consequences of drug use. Services were available for people who wanted to quit.”

Rick Basile supports syringe exchange programs because “they work. The programs get needles off the streets and lower the spread of disease. And of course the biggest selling point to me is the reduction in needle-sticks of officers. Hepatitis is really dangerous.”

Rick Basile currently serves as Program Chair of the Criminal Justice Program at Edgecombe County College.

Jun 20, 2012 / 2 notes

Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition,  and Women With A Vision invite you to attend the Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

Event Dates: The event will take place on both September 6th & 7th, 2012

Sign up page:   http://tinyurl.com/SHRDPC

Event Contact: Robert Childs, 336-543-8050 robert@nchrc.net

Event Price: $55 via Check, $56 via paypal

Scholarships: Scholarships are available to people living in the US South ONLY.  If you need a housing or conference fee waiver scholarship, please fill out the registration form and the following form: http://tinyurl.com/SHRDPC-Scholarship

Topics that will be covered:

*Syringe Access in the South
*Advocacy for Legislative Change
*Crack Harm Reduction
*Overdose Prevention
*Utilizing Law Enforcement As Advocates
*Sex Worker Harm Reduction
*Faith, Drug Policy and Harm Reduction
*HIV in the South
*Injection Drug Use and Viral Hepatitis in the South
*Marijuana Policy Reform Advocacy and Harm Reduction
*Utilizing the Media for Change
*Health and Harm Reduction for the Transgender Community
*The War on Drugs: A War on the People of the South
*National and Regional Southern Drug Policy Updates
*The Effects of Mass Incarceration on the People of the South
*& Much More!

Jun 15, 2012 / 1 note

Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Streetwork and Women With A Vision invite you to attend the Southern Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Conference

Event Dates: The event will take place on both September 6th & 7th, 2012

Sign up page:   http://tinyurl.com/SHRDPC

Event Contact: Robert Childs, 336-543-8050 robert@nchrc.net

Event Price: $55 via Check, $56 via paypal

Scholarships: Scholarships are available to people living in the US South ONLY.  If you need a housing or conference fee waiver scholarship, please fill out the registration form and the following form: http://tinyurl.com/SHRDPC-Scholarship

Picture of our crew on legislative advocacy day in NC
Jun 9, 2012

Picture of our crew on legislative advocacy day in NC

Jun 7, 2012

Event Update: North Carolina Law Enforcement Safety and Drug Policy Summit

Event: North Carolina Law Enforcement Safety and Drug Policy Summit


*When: June 12th, 2012

*What Time is the Event: Registration starts at 8am, the event begins at 9am and will go through 1pm. A lunch will be served to registered guests after the summit.

*Where do I sign up: http://tinyurl.com/NCdrugpolicy

*Where: North Carolina Legislative Auditorium, 16 Jones Street, Raleigh, NC

*Who Should Attend: Law Enforcement, Legislators, Legislative Support Staff, Public Health Officials, Harm Reductionists, Drug Policy Reformers and the Substance Abuse Community

*What Will be Covered: Law Enforcement Needlestick Reduction, Law Enforcement Safety around Drug Users and Preventing Drug Overdose Deaths and Drug Policy

*Who Will be Presenting: Law Enforcement Safety Experts, Drug Policy Experts and Republican and Democratic Legislators

*Event Contact: Robert Childs, MPH (336) 543-8050, robert.bb.childs@gmail.com


Legislators Speaking at the Event:

Dan Ingle, Leo Daughtry, Ed Jones, Diane Parfitt, and Glenn Bradley

Legislators Signed Up to Attend:

John Torbett, G. L. Pridgen, Rayne Brown, Harry Warren, Grier Martin, Chuck McGrady, Larry Brown, Harry Brown, Verla Insko, Susi Hamilton, Maggie Jeffus, Ray Rapp, Pricey Harrison, Marilyn Avila, Marian N. McLawhorn, Larry Pittman, John Faircloth, Tom Apodaca, Bill Cook, Jim Davis, Ken Goodman, Ellie Kinnaird, Alma Adams and William (Bill) Brawley

US Senators

The office of Kay Hagan

Groups Presenting:
John Locke Foundation, North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Drug Policy Alliance, Project Lazarus, and the 2nd Chances Coalition, NC Justice Center and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Law Enforcement Speakers:

Ronald Martin, Jen Earls, Leigh Maddox and Pat Glynn

May 28, 2012 / 1 note

NCHRC Encourages You to Donate to Women With A Vision, After Their Office Is Set Fire by an Arsonist

NCHRC Encourages You to Donate to Women With A Vision, After Their Office Is Set Fire by an Arsonist


Dear NCHRC Allies,

I encourage all our allies today to donate program supplies and money to Women With A Vision (WWAV), who just lost their office to arson.  WWAV is one of the premier harm reduction groups in the US and this is really sad news.  As shown in this video,


they lost most of supplies and office equipment.  I hope you will join NCHRC in making a donation to WWAV.  You can link to their donation page by going to the following link: http://tinyurl.com/wwavdonation


In solidarity,



Please read a account of the events by WWAV Executive Director Deon Haywood below:


Dear Friends, Colleagues and Family,


Today we reach out to express our gratitude for your support and to let you know that everyone in the Women With A Vision (WWAV) family is safe. 


Thanks to the fast response of all of our supporters across the country, many of you have already heard that our office was broken into last night and set on fire. The worst damage was concentrated in our community organizing and outreach office where we store all of the resources we use to educate our community. We lost everything. We do not have an office to operate out of right now.  Most of our office equipment and all of our educational resources were destroyed. Because of the targeted nature, we can only assume that this was intentional. 


We are shaken to be sure, and deeply worried about how we will provide for our members while we are rebuilding. But the work will continue. This cannot and will not stop us from speaking out for people who do not have a voice. 


Please know that your thoughts, your prayers, your kind words and your positive energy are felt. Your care for WWAV is what is giving us the strength to make sure that we reopen, bigger and better than before, as soon as possible.  But we will literally be starting from scratch, so donations and in-kind contributions are critical right now. 


Immediate Meeting Spaces for WWAV Events. We are in the process of finding a new permanent home, but also need immediate assistance with space. We have several coalition meetings that were to be held at the WWAV office next week, and our new micro-enterprise program is scheduled to launch early next week. New Orleans friends, do you have conference room space you can lend? Member programming will need to accommodate 10-15 people. Coalition events will bring together 20-25 people. 


Donations to Replace our Health Education Materials. We lost all of our health education materials, including harm reduction supplies, condoms/dental dams/lube, reproductive health models, educational brochures, hygiene kits and OraSure HIV tests. Replacing these will cost thousands of dollars. If you are able, please make a tax-deductible donation through our website.

• $50 will buy a case of male condoms;

• $100 will cover a month supply of harm reduction kits,

• $250 will replace one of our reproductive health models;

• $500 will enable us to make a month’s supply of hygiene kits;

• $1000 will buy a case of female condoms; and

• $2000 to replace our two cases of OraSure rapid HIV tests.


Suits/Dresses/Shoes to Restock our Clothing Bank. We have lost all of the professional clothing that was donated to WWAV for our women to go on job interviews. Please contact us if you have suits, skirts, dress pants, dresses and shoes to donate. Women’s clothing 8 to plus-size and shoe sizes 7 to12 are most needed.


Donations to Replace our Office Furniture & Supplies. When we are ready to move into our new office, we will need to replace most of our office furniture, all of our office supplies, and all of our decorations for WWAV member holiday events and women-centered programming. Desks, desk chairs, and furniture for our drop-in space will all be incredibly costly. And we all know how quickly copy paper and post-it notes can add up. Any donation will help us to open as quickly as possible.

Gift cards to office supply stores like OfficeMax, Office Depot and Staples are welcome. In-kind contributions of women-centered art, social justice posters, and holiday decorations will all be deeply appreciated when we are nearer to our re-opening date.


Donations to Replace Computers & Printer(s). One desktop computer, one laptop and one printer were completely destroyed in the fire. We are in the process of testing our remaining computers and printer to see if they have been permanently damaged by smoke. At this point, our technology replacement costs are unknown. Again, any donation will help us to reopen as quickly as possible.


We will continue to post updates to our website as our rebuilding process continues. Please keep checking back!


For now, we thank you for your love and your support. We are truly humbled to be on this journey with such an incredible community of allies. And the work continues…


In struggle,

Deon Haywood, WWAV Board of Directors

May 7, 2012 / 2 notes