Should drug users be paid in cash or tokens for participation in od training?

The idea that we shouldn't give drug users cash because they might spend it on drugs is the sort of highly judgemental thinking that is likely to reduce contact with the most at risk groups.

In fact, the anecdotal evidence is that drug users, who are often marginalised and poor, value the cash (and certificate of attendance) and view the payment as very positive and 'different money' and because of this enjoy spending it on something different.

Paying a token sum to people to receive the training makes it a valued event, and it is a very cost effective way of delivering a life-saving and therefore money-saving intervention.

Making a value judgement about where the money might be spent and so refusing to pay cash is an unhelpful step that is stigmatising, unhelpful and irrelevant, and will reduce both the reach and effectiveness of the training event.


Exchange Supplies,
1 Great Western Industrial Centre,
Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1RD, UK

01305 262244