EDPI


What is EDPI?

The European Drug Policy Initiative (EDPI) is a project of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) in cooperation with professionals and NGOs from six European countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Serbia. We selected these target countries in order to reflect the diversity of national drug policies and geopolitical characteristics found in the European Union and its candidates. Bulgaria and Poland represent new member states with restrictive drug policies, while older member states like Portugal are considered to have a more liberal approach. National drug policies cannot be differentiated using the East/West divide that exists within the EU. For instance, Sweden is famous for its democratic welfare society but has a traditionally restrictive attitude toward mind altering substances. On the other hand, the Czech Republic, having endured decades under a totalitarian regime, now endorses a relatively liberal drug policy.

The aim of the project is to advance drug policy reform in the European Union with providing tools for advocacy in the national and international level:

- public opinion surveys
- videos on national drug policy issues (posted on video sharing sites)
- media work (improving the press coverage of national/international campaigns)
- targeting political parties
- targeting international decision making forums (e.g. UN and EU forums)

We have tremendous amounts of evidence both on the harmful unintended consequences of current drug control policies and on the effectiveness of alternative harm reduction measures. However, the ciritcal voices of professionals and NGOs are not heard by the mainstream society. EDPI aims to implement policy change with oriented campaigns targeting society through the media. It connects scholarship with PR methods, attempts to use modern communication tools to advertise new, innovative answers to drug problems, mobilize drug user communities to come out of the closet. Even though Europe is considered small in a geographical sense compared to the United States, due to cultural and language barriers it is more difficult to raise awareness on the necessity of drug policy reform.

Our donors

EDPI is supported by the Global Drug Policy Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI) and the Commonsense for Drug Policy Foundation.European Drug Policy Initiative News

EDPI news

September 30, 2014

Serbian Youth Deserves Proper Party Scene Harm Reduction

Recreational drug use is  common in party settings among Serbian youth– a recent large scale study concluded  - bringing further evidence for the need to make party harm reduction services widely available across the country.

September 18, 2014

Polish Citizens Support the Legalisation of Marijuana

You still have time until the second half of November to sign the petition for EU-wide marijuana legalisation. The Weed like to talk initiative aims to make the European Union adopt a common policy on the control and regulation of cannabis production, use and sale.

September 5, 2014

Females Living With Addiction in Serbia: There Once Was a Girl…

Life can be particularly challenging for girls living with addiction in Serbia. Read the call from our Serbian partner organisations, for a gender-sensitive approach to helping substance users.

September 4, 2014

FOCUSING ON THE HUMAN BEING - Drug Policy in Portuguese-Speaking African Countries

The 1st International Conference on Drug Policies in Portuguese-Speaking African Countries (PALOP) – a pioneering event and the first of a set of meetings – was held on the 15th and 16th of January 2014, in Cape Verde. The Drugreporter's team was invited to film at the event. Read our guest article by Inês Santos of APDES and watch the HCLU's summary movie, or any of the presentations.

July 9, 2014

All You Need to Know About Polish Drug Routes

Poland has recently gone from having a full ban on, and absence of, illicit substances during the Soviet era, to becoming a booming drug user society. Read the Polish drug market analysis from our Polish partner.

June 19, 2014

Hungary Is Facing An HIV Epidemic Among Drug Users

Despite the first HIV transmissions among drug users, the largest Hungarian needle and syringe program has been forced to shut down, because of political attacks

June 12, 2014

Infographic: Poland’s Failed War on Drugs in Numbers

Check out our new infographic on how the war on drugs is failing in Poland. It's both a waste of taxpayer’s money, and a missed opportunity to improve society. In addition, there is no program of targeted education on psychoactive substances and harm reduction throughout Poland - that also has to be changed!

June 3, 2014

Medical Marijuana (no) Precedent in Bulgaria

At the end of March, the court in the Bulgarian city of Lovech found Marin Kalchev not guilty. He is a 31-year-old multiple sclerosis patient, who uses marijuana extract to manage the negative symptoms of his chronic disease.

April 30, 2014

Roma Girls, Drug Users in Serbia - locked into a repeating cycle of risks

Young Roma people in Serbia are particularly severely affected by the increase in use of traditional psychoactive substances, such as cannabis, inhalants (glue and solvents), heroin and alcohol. EDPI’s local partner, the NGO 'Re Generation', argues that these young people - a high proportion of whom live and work on the streets - are in need of special care.

April 22, 2014

Media Reports from the High-level UN Meeting on Drugs

HCLU's European Drug Policy Initiative this year took the form of grant-aiding a group of European journalists to cover on location the high-level meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

March 28, 2014

The Role of Heroin in Serbian History

Whether it was transporting silk, spices, tobacco, or opium, for centuries, the Silk Road from the Far East towards European countries passed through Serbia. Read how heroin permeated the country and made the region a transport hub for illicit substances.

March 21, 2014

Will this be a good year for Portuguese Harm Reduction?

Around seventy experts met under the flag of the Portuguese National Harm Reduction Network to discuss the state of Harm Reduction in Portugal.

March 19, 2014

Breaking Down the Vienna Consensus on Drugs

The consensus behind global drug prohibition is fading - watch the new video we filmed at the high level UN meeting in Vienna and find out why! 

March 11, 2014

Debunk the INCB! – Video Campaign

The HCLU’s Drugreporter is launching a video campaign to debunk the offensive of the International Narcotics Control Board against drug policy reform initiatives

March 6, 2014

Europe, it’s time to regulate cannabis!

A couple of young people have launched “Weed like to talk”, a grassroots campaign calling on the European Union to make cannabis legal. 

February 13, 2014

AT A CROSSROADS: Will Serbia Fund Harm Reduction Programs to Save Lives?

Serbia is not eligible for any more money from the Global Fund - harm reduction programs are in danger. Our movie gives you a glimpse of the desperate situation of Roma injecting drug users in Belgrade, help us to share the message! 

February 11, 2014

Legal Dreams and Folk Tales: The New Psychoactive Substances in Urban Drug Folklores

In Romania, the urban legends that ‘legal highs’ have inspired, speak of the traumas and hardships faced by injecting drug users.

February 4, 2014

Needle and Syringe Programs Save Lives and Money: Infograph

There are an estimated 16 million injecting drug users (IDUs) in the world - three million of them living with HIV/AIDS. Providing IDUs with clean needle and syringe saves lives. Help us to spread this message by sharing our infograph!

January 31, 2014

Профилактика передозировок: анимированное руководство

Опиоидные передозировки по-прежнему убивают молодых людей по всему миру. В некоторых странах от передозировок стало погибать больше людей, чем от огнестрельного оружия, убийств или ВИЧ/СПИДа.

January 31, 2014

Bunny and Wolf: An Animated Guide to Prevent Overdose Deaths

Opioid overdose continues to be a top killer of young people all over the world. In some countries, drug overdose deaths now outnumber those attributable to firearms, homicides or HIV/AIDS. Few people realise that most of these deaths are easily preventable with the right information, and an inexpensive antidote, Naloxone, which can reverse overdoses.

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