Grassroots Harm Reduction Network is a national nonprofit started in February 2024 to support peer-based harm reduction organizations and to help individuals who want to form new groups in their own communities. We also operate an online store for the general public and a buyers’ club for harm reduction programs (large or small) that offers drug checking kits and other harm reduction supplies at super low prices.

Harm Reduction as Peer-Based Direct Action

Harm reduction began in the 1980s as a peer-based movement to prevent the spread of HIV. Community needle exchange programs were initially criminalized, and it was only through the persistence and direct action of people who use drugs that they gradually became accepted. Today’s publicly funded “syringe service programs” owe their existence to the early efforts of IV drug users to keep themselves safe during the AIDS epidemic (many of whom served jail time for their activism). Similarly, drug checking began in the late 90s as a peer-based movement of ravers and MDMA users who sought to protect themselves from counterfeit ecstasy tablets that had begun killing people a few years earlier. State and corporate drug checking programs today can again trace their beginnings to the initial collective efforts of people who use drugs to protect their own health and safety.


Grassroots Harm Reduction Network provides materials, education, and resources to peer-based harm reduction organizations supporting their local communities.


We believe that peer-based harm reduction efforts are still the most successful kind, and that they benefit people and communities more so than outside, professional service providers (although we appreciate them too). It is our mission to support these grassroots efforts wherever they exist, and to foster new, independent, local organizations. We bring decades of collective experience to this mission.

We realize that local needs are different, and we aim to support each local effort in doing whatever work is most needed in their community. We are also peers in this movement, participating in similar activities in our own communities.

Check out the Membership page to learn about joining our network. It is important to point out that member organizations are their own independent, autonomous groups, and have no specific obligations to Grassroots Harm Reduction Network. They simply meet the criteria to be members and, therefore, receive the support that the network provides. We offer guidance, training, materials and other resources to both established groups and individuals wishing to organize new ones. If you are an individual and want to start a harm reduction organization in your local community, contact us. Whether your focus is activism, outreach, education, or otherwise, we’re here to help.

Image of Carter Graves

Carter Graves (they/them)

Board Member & Executive Director

After experiencing personal harm themself, Carter Graves spent over a decade providing drug checking services for their local community in Pittsburgh. Under the guise of acting as security, Carter found ways to prioritize their community’s safety above all else. This experience led to them expanding their brand of safety in 2021 under the name KMFK Safety Services.

Carter created a community-centered health and safety team of drug war abolitionists with lived experience who reject the traditional security model of acting like an occupying force in favor of real community safety. This harm reduction model, although unconventional at the time, connected them with the broader harm reduction community, including local, state and national institutions.

Carter finds themself today invited to numerous harm reduction spaces, and they also push for a seat at tables where recreational drug users are often forgotten. They use the advocacy they learned from housing rights activism, generational poverty, and lived experience, to reshape spaces and push for the lowest barrier of entry to harm reduction work.

Image of Bryan Oley

Bryan Oley (he/him)

Board Member

Bryan started in Harm Reduction as a founder of a Sacramento based Harm Reduction group, SacHaven, in late 1998.  In 2001, he took on the creation and maintenance of the DanceSafe’s Online Information Booth, a popular series of online forums providing a space to discuss harm reduction and safety, which ran from 2001 to 2010 and had just over 20,000 active users spreading education to those in need.

He also held the role of Board President of DanceSafe from 2001 to 2010, as well as Executive Director from 2001 to 2009.  After that he served alternately as Board President, CFO, CIO/CTO and consultant through 2019 when he retired after 21 years with the Org.

Bryan currently leads volunteer efforts for multiple agencies and provides free consultation to large and small groups on community building and volunteerism, resulting in hundreds of thousands of hours volunteered back into communities around the world.

Image of Jared Skolnick

Jared Skolnick (he/they)

Board Member

Jared was a raver in the 1990s, when harm reduction wasn’t really part of the scene. When he returned to the scene in 2017, Jared was at a festival at The Gorge where he encountered Conscious Crew. He immediately wondered, “Who are these people enjoying the party AND helping others? And how can I do that?” Returning home to NYC, he began volunteering with DanceSafe and later became a DanceSafe NYC chapter officer.

In 2018 he began taking the topic of sexual violence prevention in nightlife seriously and became a “Consenticorn” at House of Yes. He grew this passion into several different spaces, providing services not just at raves and nightclubs, but also kink and sex parties. Jared also provides consent training in several contexts, including for multiple Burning Man camps. He is one of less than a dozen trainers for OutsmartNYC, an organization supported by the City of New York to provide onsite sexual violence prevention training to bars and clubs around the city.

Jared recently launched SafeRaveNYC to provide safer spaces services to local events and venues, with a specific focus on LGBTQ+ and BIPOC events.

Emanuel Sferios (he/him)

Store/Buyers’ Club Manager & General Inspiration

Emanuel Sferios has been a harm reduction and drug policy reform activist for 26 years. The founder of DanceSafe, Emanuel pioneered drug checking services back in 1998 when he began testing ecstasy tablets at raves and nightclubs in the San Francisco Bay Area to help people avoid ingesting the counterfeit pills that had begun killing people.

In 2016 Emanuel commissioned the first laboratory studies assessing the effectiveness of fentanyl test strips for harm reduction use, and between 2022 and 2023 he worked with WHPM to develop a new and improved fentanyl test strip and a xylazine test strip specifically for drug checking.

Emanuel lives in Albuquerque with his partner, Jill, and their two cats, Holt and Graeber. He manages the website as well as our online store and Buyers’ Club. Although he founded DanceSafe, he is no longer affiliated with them today.

Image of Erin Conway

Erin Conway (she/her)

Digital Network Facilitator

Erin Conway is a founding member of Grassroots Harm Reduction. In December of 2022, she received her BS from the University of North Georgia in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. During her time as an undergraduate in 2017, she became involved with DanceSafe and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). She served as SSDP chapter president from 2019 to 2021, focusing on bringing awareness to harm reduction, education about substance use, and naloxone training. In 2020 she participated in SSDP’s Psychedelic Pipeline mentorship program where she focused on creating and maintaining a harm reduction peer support group.

Erin is passionate about accessibility to education and harm reduction resources. She believes that no push for change is too small to serve.