“As Serbia still doesn’t have regular harm reduction services and drug checking is not allowed, NGO Re Generation filmed the Belgrade Wonderland to shine a light on the situation.” Watch their video!
When a fatal outcome occurs as a result of taking drugs and alcohol at a music festival or in the club, the usual practice of the media and the public is to focus on the fact that the person who lost their life used an illegal psychoactive substance. After recent events in Serbia, where in the course of just of one month three young people lost their lives, the debate on youth safety has been directed at preventing young people from using psychoactive substances. The tools vary from criminal prosecution through prohibitionist legislation, to the demonisation of the culture of nightlife for allegedly encouraging the use of drugs.
NGO Re Generation has already stressed several times that the desired results are not achieved by the repressive measures. By closing clubs and prosecuting, the mortality rate due to overdose does not decrease. It is necessary to go a step further and instead create and implement effective drug policies that include various preventative actions among other harm reduction programs, as well as drug testing programs. By adapting the applicable laws, there would be room for the implementation of harm reduction programs in festival and club settings, while in places and in cases where testing drugs for adulterants and potency is possible, it can be provided. The implementation of such services not only responds to the problem of youth use, it works on prevention and education, and also reduces the risk of the use itself. It also opens the possibility of improving the effectiveness of the binding National Early Warning System within which states and civil society need to be partners.
As Serbia still doesn’t have regular harm reduction services and drug checking is not allowed, NGO Re Generation filmed the Belgrade Wonderland to shine a light on the situation and promote drug checking as a possibility that individuals have in order to test their own substances and find out more about them, inform themselves about the substances they are taking, and take necessary measures if needed or choose not to take the substance at all. Being aware that testing is not the safest and most precise tool, we still promote it as one step closer to knowing your substance and that one step could be crucial in order to stay alive.
Irena Molnar, Re Generation