Look away: you don’t want to see this

As part of the harm reduction work I do I occasionally have to give talks at conferences, I’ll be giving one soon about the need for drug consumption rooms. These are places that people can use their drugs in a safer environment.

As I needed some images to show why we need these spaces I had a walk around Birmingham with my camera. These are the resulting images. Remember before you’re tempted to judge people who use drugs, no one ‘chooses’ to inject in these spaces, this is where the most desperate people in our society have been driven.

These images are taken in Birmingham, but they could be any major city.

Just meters away from a major walkway in the city centre
Many of the places I saw had human excrement alongside drug litter, the places people can hide from sight to inject are also the places people can hide from sight to defecate
The small silver pans are disposable spoons used to ‘cook up’ drugs
A belt used as a tourniquet
Nitrous canister
Random dried chili peppers