about buzzcode

Who we are:
We are all members of the dance party community and are in touch with how this community operates, how drug use is understood, and what party drugs mean to men who make the party scene part of their lives. In short, we feel we are well suited to administer Buzzcode because we are part of this community. At the same time, we each bring significant kinds of professional expertise, training, and experience that will be quite useful in assisting us in executing our Buzzcode campaign.

What we are doing:
Our mission is to promote gay men's health in Vancouver by becoming a known and trustworthy source of culturally sensitive harm reduction strategies and information for those who use party drugs.

Buzzcode has five main objectives:

  1. Our first objective is to decrease the incidence of overdoses, “bad trips”, and associated negative health consequences of drug use in the party scene.
  2. Our second objective is to decrease the incidence of unsafe sex among men who are using party drugs, reducing the impact of HIV and other STD's.
  3. Our third objective is to encourage and develop partnerships with businesses associated with the party scene, inform them of the relationship between harm reduction and gay men’s health, and offer them a role in actualizing our program’s first and second objectives. (find out how your business can participate)
  4. Our fourth objective is to encourage the development of partnerships with gay men’s health organizations that advocate HIV prevention and harm reduction as part of their mandate and offer them a role in actualizing our program’s first and second objectives. (find out how your organization can participate)
  5. Our fifth objective is one of capacity building. Already embedded in the party scene are nascent HIV prevention and harm reduction strategies. It is our objective to highlight these strategies to improve their effectiveness and thus further actualize our first and second objectives.
Why we're doing it:
Party drugs are a constituent part of many gay men’s socializing. As an organization, we believe the consumption of party drugs carries with it a great deal of potential harm—particularly around risky sexual practices, overdoses, and addictions—and intervention efforts are required to ensure the health of the community of gay men who choose to socialize with the aid of party drugs. We don't think health promotion efforts based on abstinence are entirely productive when it comes to drug use. We believe in order to support healthy choices around drug use we must recognize that party drugs are a meaningful and important part of how many gay men choose to socialize.

If Buzzcode is successful in encouraging gay men to think about their drug use differently—considering how and why drugs are consumed—we feel we are one step closer to seeing these gay men make healthier choices. The results will be a healthier community.

How we are doing it:
On-site Activities (bars, after-hours events, dance parties):
The aim of our on-site strategies is to cue our target population of the existence of a broader set of off-site resources where more complex harm reduction information is available.

We see these on-site activities primarily as a means of raising awareness of the Buzzcode campaign and driving traffic to our website rather than information delivery. There are three aspects to our on-site activities. First, party scene business/promoter partnerships—where venues and bars are informed of our program and invited to participate by granting us access to their events-represent the primary means by which we can reach our target population. A second set of on-site activities includes the on-site distribution of promotional material at bars and venues to increase awareness of our program and direct our target population to our off-site activities. A third aspect of our on-site activities will involve “party favour identification” strategies (techniques for users to indicate what drugs they have consumed in the case of a medical emergency) and a safe party site approval certificate (“approving” venues on the basis of whether or not they have, for example, sensible contingency plans for overdoses).

Off-site Activities:
The aim of our off-site activities is ultimately oriented toward giving our target population—those members of the party scene who have been cued to the existence of our Buzzcode campaign through on-site activities—the tools to think about their drug consumption practices more carefully.

This activity includes the development of this web-site which we see as an important component of our efforts: drug use is difficult to talk about in an open manner due to the criminal and moral stigma attached to it. A web-based forum presents a relatively safe and private means for our target population to think about drug use