Andrew Preston

Andrew Preston has been the general manager of Exchange Supplies since he founded the company in 2002.

He originally trained as a general nurse from 1981-1983, then worked in learning disability from 1984-88, before training to be a psychiatric nurse in 1988/9, and working for more than 10 years as a community nurse in the drugs field from 1989-2001.

Andrew became interested in drugs work after Kim Hager from Exeter drugs Project came to talk to his group, and suggested he do a placement there. It was Andrew's last placement of his training, and when he qualified he got a job as a drug team CPN (community psychiatric nurse) in North Devon.

Having resigned on principle when money for a needle exchange was diverted into alcohol services (!?!), he had a 6 month spell working for the Royal College of Nursing trade union on a fixed term contract, before moving in 1991 with his wife Debbie and young family Todd Sam, and Rachel – then just 6, 4, and 1 – to Dorchester in Dorset to become GP liaison worker in West Dorset supporting GP methadone prescribing, coordinating needle exchange services, and training GP's and community pharmacists in West Dorset.

Andrew worked for 10 years as a frontline drug worker in Dorset, while at the same time being actively involved in the National Needle Exchange Forum, and local needle exchange planning group, running GP and pharmacy staff training, and safer injecting courses for HIT in Liverpool, and writing resources for drug users and drug workers including the methadone handbook and methadone briefing, which were sold through Drugscope.

He left in 2000 to become a full time harm reduction writer, trainer and activist and, in 2001 he set up Exchange Supplies to begin the supply of sterile citric acid and VitC sachets to injecting drug users in the UK.

Exchange Supplies has grown to be a world leading inventor and supplier of injecting equipment, drug information, and injecting paraphernalia... there's a full more detailed history of the company here.

Andrew is on Facebook here,
and linkedin here.
M: 07768 441796.


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

01305 262244