Atlanta's Dancesafe Chapter Website Announcement

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http://www.dancesafe.org/atlanta

Atlantaís Dancesafe Harm Reduction Group

Atlanta now has a chapter of the national organization Dancesafe. In March 2002, a small group formed and began doing outreach at raves and club events in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Recently in September, they were trained by Melissa Martin, formerly of the San Diego chapter, and now a volunteer of the NYC chapter, as well as Sarah Hill, which has also volunteered with the NYC and Buffalo chapters.

DanceSafe is a nonprofit, harm reduction organization promoting health and safety within the rave and nightclub community. They currently have local chapters in twenty-nine cities throughout the US and Canada. By the middle of next year they expect to have at least a dozen more.

Local chapters consist of young people from within the dance culture itself who have a sincere interest in bettering their communities and educating themselves and their peers. Volunteers are trained to be health educators and drug abuse prevention counselors within their own communities, utilizing the principles and methods of harm reduction and popular education.

Volunteers staff harm reduction booths at raves, nightclubs and other dance events where they provide information on drugs, safer sex, and other health and safety issues concerning the electronic dance community (like driving home safely and protecting one's hearing). Just recently, some chapters are following the drug cultureís move from underground to mainstream, doing outreach at places other than just raves and nightclubs.

They also provide adulterant screening or pill testing services for ecstasy users. Pill testing is an important harm reduction service that saves lives and reduces medical emergencies by helping ecstasy users avoid fake and adulterated tablets that often contain substances far more dangerous than real ecstasy.

Information and services are directed primarily towards non-addicted, recreational drug users. Non-addicted drug users are an under-served population within the harm reduction movement, despite the fact that they comprise the vast majority of drug users in our society. While many organizations exist that provide services to drug-dependent individuals, few groups address the needs of the majority of non-addicted, recreational users. Dancesafe hopes to fill this gap. When needed, they always refer people to appropriate treatment programs.

The Atlanta chapter has recently released a website and an extensive web-forum, similar to that of the national website and forum. However the Atlanta Chapter intends to make their web-forum community deal with issues on a local level, covering Atlanta, Georgia, and other parts of the southeast, recognizing that the issues faced in the southeast are unique as compared to other parts of the country.

The Atlanta Chapter website includes a photo section, polls, updates, an events calendar, links, donation merchandise, and contact information, as well as the web-forum. The web-forum consists of a harm reduction forum, law and media, womenís Issues, menís Issues, and safer sex. It also has forums for the safer use of ecstasy, stimulants, depressants, marijuana, dissociatives, and psychedelics, as well as forums for pill testing and adulterants, therapeutic and spiritual applications, other drugs and a general discussion and events forum.

The address to the Atlanta Chapter Website is: www.dancesafe.org/atlanta

If you would like to contact the Atlanta Chapter of Dancesafe, please write atlanta@dancesafe.org or just visit our forums, our volunteers check them daily.

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2003


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