Home > The Complex Nature of Abused Substances and Getting Help for Addiction > Erowid Organization and Website
Erowid is a non-profit organization which aims to provide accurate, specific and responsible information regarding psychoactive drugs. Harm reduction, education and non-judgmental information is provided on the extensive website to individuals. Erowid was established in 1995 and is financed exclusively by donations.
Erowid was founded on the belief that a healthy relationship with drugs is one grounded in balance and where use is part of an active, intellectual, physical and spiritual life. Drug users should not be condemned to a life in the shadows, being criticized for experimentation, made to feel guilty for using substances that can be life changing. Neutrality in information is a key component of Erowid and they publish any information that is regarded relevant enough to the topics even if it is negative information about the substance.
The Erowid website is a vast and extensive collection of information. The site was developed to provide accessible information to people about the issues, developments, risks and problems surrounding psychoactive drugs which includes harm minimization information. It is believed that psychoactive drugs have played a significant and important role in many peoples lives and understanding the way these drugs work, what benefits can be sort, what risks may arise, what researchers have found and also what laws are is important.
The Erowid website is an online library of information about psychoactive plants, chemicals and related topics. The website contains over 50,000 documents relating to psychoactive including images, experience reports, articles and research information. The information on the Erowid website is a collation of experiences, research papers, articles, news items and more from a vast range of individuals. Contributions from users, parents, researchers, lawyers, journalists, teachers, chemists, health professionals and doctors are all published on the website. It is felt that the variety of information from so many different sources gives an accurate description of the drug and the experiences of taking the drug. The submissions are reviewed and edited before being published by the site developers who aim to create a whole picture of the psychoactive.
Erowid has come under criticism over the years due to the fact that the website provides information about controlled substances. Critics believe that they are flaunting the law and that by giving people access to information about drugs encourages drug use. Erowid does not facilitate or encourage drug use. The information that is provided on the website is based in harm minimization and tolerance policies that do not break any laws. Drugs listed on the site range from pharmaceutical drugs such as Vicodin or Oxycodin to Schedule I drugs such as cocaine or heroin.
Regardless of the criticisms, Erowid provides an invaluable source of information not just to drug users, but to health professionals, lawyers and anyone else interested in the world of drug use and psychoactives. The information is independent, strongly referenced and up-to-date.
A significant amount of the Erowid website is the experience reports . Experience reports are submitted by drug users about their personal experience, whether positive, negative or neutral. All experience reports are reviewed before publication and there are over 20,000 reports on the website at present. New experience reports are uploaded every month and old reports are archived on the site but not removed. This information may be invaluable for drug workers and researchers who can use this information to review changes in drug use and experiences.
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