TripSit: A Social Network for Drug Users
The founders of the controversial anonymous community tell The Fix that they save lives by helping people to use drugs safely.
TripSit—named after the practice of supervising a buddy who's tripping on drugs—is an online community where recreational drug users can convene anonymously to chat about substances and experiences. The Internet is overrun with drug forums, but this site claims to have a unique and important purpose: to reduce uninformed consumption and provide isolated drug-users with “someone to talk to, advice on safe dosage, a simple water bottle, or supportive techniques for recovery.” The site's founders, who say they wish to remain anonymous until they gain non-profit status, want to spread the word that drugs don't have to be harmful and addictive. “We believe that education can lead to reducing the amount of people that abuse these substances,” co-founder "Pandadreams" tells The Fix. “Abstinence[-based prevention] has never worked, ever.” The site offers a variety of services including individual profiles, a book exchange, online radio tailored for mind-altered listening and a wiki page.
But Pandadreams says the site's pride and joy are the chat rooms, where users can speak with TripSit volunteers 24/7. “We have truly saved some people's lives as they could have overdosed on substances or mixed dangerous drugs together. We have also helped others with their personal problems and have helped them overcome drug abuse and other addictive behaviors,” the founder tells us. “We have built truly powerful relationships with many of these people which in turn has led them to become productive members of society.” In the chat rooms, users discuss varied topics including how to get over a hangover, drug education reform, and what substances everyone should (or shouldn't) try next. The only topic that the controversial community prohibits is anything related to drug dealing. But while the site could easily be seen as encouraging substance use, Pandadreams denies enabling potentially dangerous behaviors. “I don't think that our job is trying to stop people from using drugs, but rather helping people be people,” we're told. “In that sense I don't think we are enabling anyone to do drugs, but rather enabling people to take charge of their lives and live.”