• I provide training and technical assistance to organizations preparing to implement harm reduction services, including syringe service programs and naloxone distribution programs.
  • As a founding member of the National Harm Reduction Coalition (NHRC) and the North American Syringe Exchange Network (NASEN), I have over 30 years of experience in the movement as an organizer, coalescing diverse groups of stakeholders whose role it is to safeguard the immediate and long-term viability of harm reduction services in our communities.


      In the early 1990’s, I co-founded one of the first needle exchange programs in the US.  As a young person who used drugs, I was blown away by the lack of information on how to stay safe. So me and my friends started creating ¼ sheet flyers with tips on vein rotation, the water hierarchy, rescue breathing—basically evreything that we were dealing with on a day to day basis. We then went on to create a series of zines called junkphood which was all about technique.
    • It was around this same time that I co-authored Getting Off Right with Rod Sorge and Synn Stern.  The first edition of this book was published by the Harm Reduction Coalition in 1998. 
    • A lot has changed since then - both in the way we consume drugs and the way we consume information. But one thing remains the same - more of us are dying than ever before because the drug supply is unregulated. Until that changes, it’s on us to share what we know.
    • In 2021, I was commissioned by NASTAD to create a safer use resource that updates current harm reduction guidelines, taking into account an increased presence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in the drug supply.

      • Staying true to DIY ethos and my belief that safer use information should be open source, I created Bevel Up. This resource is a mash-up of messages and recommendations from current and former users and health care providers. 

      • With funding from the CDC, Bevel Up was designed with SSPs in mind. The series is a customizable series of cards, posters and social posts. Click here to view the full site.

      • Project Lead: Heather Edney | Design and Layout: Heather Edney | Illustration: Zach Weiss and Suzanne Shifflett | Graphic Design: Nina Madjid | Content Creators: Heather Edney and Joanna Berton Martinez | Content Contributors: Lillie Armstrong, Joy Rucker, Paula Santiago, Maya-Doe Simkins, Eliza Wheeler, Van Asher, and The Fentanyl Collective |Special thanks to Elika Upadhyay, Billy Golden, Kacey Byczek, Robyn Learned, Gina Musa, Amanda Reese, Ry Dalporto, Jessica Martinez, Nora Fuller, Christine Rodriguez, Kirsten Forseth and NASTAD Drug User Health.

      Heather Edney | 2024