Currently I am working with John Strang, head of the Addictions Department at Kings College. Initially we want to prove that we can accurately diagnose an overdose with reflective oximetry, however, the long-term goal is getting this project piloted in the UK.
The INVIO project started after a visit at SKYEN, a recently opened consumption room in Copenhagen. Here I interviewed members of staff and observed how they kept the substance abusers of Vesterbro safe. I became very interested in harm reduction strategies, which is a series of controversial initiatives that successfully help protect substance abusers from deadly diseases and from overdosing on drugs. Studies show that making it safer to be a substance abuser does not encourage initiation of new users, nor does it increase consumption with current users. In the end harm reduction is about “keeping the users safe until they are willing to accept help”.
Later, back in London, I continued my research by interviewing a number of heroin users and listened to their stories. Meeting these individuals fuelled my motivation to try and use design to lower the numbers of heroin related deaths in Denmark, UK and countries alike.
The idea behind this concept was to repurpose obsolete urban installations such as phone booths to make a cheaper alternative to real consumption rooms. A voluntary group would monitor the consumption booths, and in the event of an overdose, they would alert a collaboration partner such as a 24h pharmacy who would send a staff member to the booth and administer a naloxone injection.