Harm Reduction Tips for Avoiding COVID19 while Drug Dealing

The following guidelines were developed by Russell Newcombe and Cheryl White (of 3D Research: russell.3dresearch@gmail.com) for dissemination among the global community.

This advice aims to protect you, your customers, the police, and everyone.  It is safer for one dealer to visit several customers than for several customers to visit one dealer, but both options are covered below. 


1)  Before leaving to visit your customers, protect yourself with at least a mask and gloves, and take a charged phone with up to date numbers for lawyers or useful contacts in case things go wrong

2)  Avoid hiding the drug packages inside your mouth, anus or vagina – if you do, clean them with an alcohol-based sanitizer first. If you are carrying groceries as a cover for your dealing, consider hiding your drugs and money at the bottom of the bag/box

3)  Rehearse a valid reason for why are you are outside to give to police if they stop you and ask where you’re going – and use ‘props’ to back this up. For instance, be prepared to say that you’re going shopping for yourself or a vulnerable person, making sure that you are carrying a shopping bag and that you have details of your supermarket and/or an address close to where your customer lives. Or consider dressing as a delivery driver, healthcare worker or other essential worker

4)  Stay at least 6 feet away from your customers and all other people you meet - though note that the police are allowed to come closer to you. Be respectful to the police

5)  Avoid getting into cars or other small, confined spaces when you meet your customers. Meeting customers at their home is probably the safest.  After they have put their money on the floor/table and stepped back 6 feet, pick up the money and put the drugs down. Before leaving, encourage customers to clean the packages and to wash their hands after handling them

6)  Before visiting your next customer, clean your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer, and try to avoid handling your money any more than necessary

7)  Go home using a different route so that if you come across police again, it won’t be the same officers who may have stopped you on your way out

8)  When you get home, clean any drug packages you kept inside your body with an alcohol-based sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) - and then wash your hands for at least 20 seconds



1)  Before answering the door, put on at least a mask and gloves

2)  Don’t let customers come into your home beyond coming inside the door.  Ask them to put the money down on the floor/table and step back 6 feet, then you pick up the money and put the drugs down and step back 6 feet. The customer can then return, pick up the drugs, and leave. Encourage them to clean the drugs packages and wash their hands when they get home

3)  After each deal, use a bleach-based or alcohol-based cleanser to wipe down your door handles and any other surfaces the customer may have touched. Then wash your hands for at least 20 seconds



1)  When preparing packages - bagging or wrapping powders/tablets - for your customers, clean your work area with alcohol-based sanitizer, wear a mask and gloves, and wash your hands before and after 

2)  Consider contacting and volunteering for your local drug services (e.g. needle exchange, drop-in agencies) – this will help drug users as well as giving you a legitimate cover for moving around outside.  If they agree, ask them to provide you with a letter stating that you volunteer for them. Consider stashing your drugs and money at the bottom of boxes of new needles or other harm reduction supplies.  In some countries, it may be possible to tell agency staff you’re a dealer and that you want to team up with them to protect both their clients and yourself