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A Day in the Life: The World of Humans Who Use Drugs

The film A Day in the Life: The World of Humans Who Use Drugs takes us through one day in the life of eight people, from seven cities, in seven different countries of the world, from morning until night. They all have something in common - all of them use drugs. But these people are not defined by their drug use. All of them have their unique personalities, stories, and social networks. And the environment in which they live, the attitudes they face, the laws that regulate drug use, and the health services available to them have an enormous impact on their lives. It strives to challenge our common myths and preconceptions about drugs and the people who use them. It gives a voice to those representing one of the most marginalized communities of our world, and shows how they engage in social activism to break the silence and fight the stigma that shadows their days.

Join us for a screening of the film at the Tenderloin Museum on July 27th at 6:30/7, and a panel discussion following the film with Eliza Wheeler (Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project Manager), Taeko Frost (Filmmaker & co-producer of A Day in the Life), Holly (International Harm Reduction Activist), Isaac Jackson (Director of Urban Survivors Union), Janet Ector (LEAD & Harm Reduction Program Coordinator at Glide), and Paul Harkin (HIV/Hep C & Harm Reduction Program Manager at Glide). These leaders in the field of harm reduction will discuss plans to bring supervised drug consumption services (SCS) to California to promote health, dignity, and respect for people who use drugs.

San Francisco has an estimated 22,500 people who inject drugs. Due to lack of accessible and affordable housing options, many people don't have any other choice except to use drugs in public places. Public drug use is associated with increased risk of HIV and hepatitis C transmission, and amidst the opioid overdose epidemic, many people are dying from preventable overdoses. 

This event is free and open to the public thanks to support from the Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership. 

Eliza Wheeler, DOPE Project Manager
Eliza Wheeler currently manages the Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project in San Francisco, through a collaboration with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The Drug Overdose Prevention and Education Project is a program of the Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC), a national advocacy organization with a focus on improving the health and human rights of people who use drugs. In her role as project manager, she oversees naloxone distribution and overdose prevention interventions for the city of San Francisco, along with providing training and technical assistance to San Francisco-based social service providers on overdose prevention and substance use. 

Taeko Frost, DrPH, Western Regional Director at Harm Reduction Coalition
Filmmaker and co-producer of A Day in the Life
Taeko serves at the Western Regional Director at the Harm Reduction Coalition, a national organization that provides advocacy, capacity building, and training to promote the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs. Prior to her current role, Taeko ran a syringe exchange program in New York City and was involved in SIFNYC, the campaign for supervised injection facilities in NYC. In addition to being a co-producer of A Day in the Life filming the NYC segments, Taeko co-directed two other documentaries about the movement for SCS including Everywhere But Safe: Public Injecting in New York and The Caring Community: Ithaca and the movement for supervised injection facilities. 

Holly, International Harm Reduction Activist
Currently the Executive Director of The San Francisco Drug Users Union Holly has a Masters Degree in Clinical Counseling from Lesley University in Cambridge Mass. Holly is a current drug user and has been doing harm reduction work since 1987, beginning in Boston, when the HIV epidemic began to hit the injection drug using community. She spent 7 years in Cambodia, founding Korsang, an internationally award winning program. Korsang created the country's first comprehensive harm reduction program that provided services to Phnom Penh's street based drug users and engaged in human rights work to protect the rights of Cambodia's drug users at the United Nations level. Holly is also is on the SF Mayor's Task Force advocating for Supervised Injection Facilities to come to San Francisco. In addition to her work here, Holly works with CoNE Manipur in Imphal, India doing Hep-C activism and with Open Aid Alliance in Missoula, Montana helping to get Nalaxone and sterile injection equipment to isolated communities and Indian Reservations. At home Holly raises her 16 year old grandson and spends as much time as possible in the wilderness to unwind.

Janet Ector, LEAD & Harm Reduction Program Coordinator, Glide
Janet has 8 years experience working in substance use recovery services providing Case Management Services, Client Advocacy, and collaborating with other city CBO’s to provide direct client services. As an activist, Janet’s work is informed by her first-hand experience of the impact of substance use stigma and mass incarceration on the black community. Janet is coordinating Glide’s involvement in the new Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD) that began on July this year. The program is designed to divert low level drug users pre-arrest away from the entanglements of law enforcement towards social services and case management.

Isaac Jackson, Director of Urban Survivors Union
Isaac Jackson is a long-term harm reduction activist and Director of the Urban Survivors Union, a national collective of drug user activists.

Paul Harkin, HIV/Hep C & Harm Reduction Program Manager at Glide
Paul Harkin has been managing HIV prevention programs since 1997. He specializes in creating programs that provide community outreach to marginalized populations, particularly serving People Who Use Drugs, offering HIV/Hep C Testing, Linkages and Navigation services to high risk individuals in all types of community settings. Paul Harkin is a vocal proponent of harm reduction based interventions and is a member of San Francisco’s HIV Community Planning Council and serves as the San Francisco Community Member on the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS). Among other achievements he has initiated two syringe exchange programs in the Tenderloin area; Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center, which he began in 2000 and the current program at Glide which he started in 2011. He has been providing HIV/Hep C Testing services since 1997. Paul Harkin has an MA in Cultural Studies from East London University, England. Originally from Scotland, he came to the US in 1997 to do HIV/AIDS prevention volunteer work.