‘Nice People Take Drugs’ was launched in 2009 to address the stigma linked to drug use. The clients supported by Release’s legal and drugs teams, face enough of a struggle without the additional burden of being defined by their drug use. This contributes to social isolation and limited access to education and employment.
Stigma can also prevent those who have used drugs not seeking testing for infections like Hepatitis C or HIV until it is too late for effect treatment. Stigma doesn’t just narrow life opportunity, it can and does kill.
The campaign was launched with advertisements on the side of London’s iconic red buses. The bus company despite receiving no public complaints, took down the advertisements within days of the campaign launching.
This decision led to global media exposure and events organised by harm reduction activists around the world.