From the perspective of activists from Eastern-Europe, Amsterdam is the symbol of humane drug policies. Our Russian speaking reporters visited the city to explore its harm reduction scene – and meet with Eastern-Europeans who live there. Watch their video and find out more!
Harm reduction is a pragmatic and compassionate approach to people who use licit and illicit drugs. As a principle it is applied in several other areas of life, for example when you fasten your seat-belts in a car to reduce the risk of injuries. Policies and services based on harm reduction respect the dignity and freedom of human beings and help them to stay healthy and alive even if they choose to continue using drugs. A very obvious example is to distribute clean needles among people who use drugs to prevent hepatitis C and HIV infections. Harm reduction programs should be part of an integrated social and healthcare system. But harm reduction is much more than just a set of services - it is a movement for freedom and social justice applied in the field of drug policy. Drugreporter is a chronicle of this movement.
A report from a drug policy conference in Macau, where we visited a high-tech methadone clinic, a drop-in centre, and interviewed many brave Asian activists who are working on reducing the harms of drug use and drug laws.
Harm reduction in Kazakhstan performs surprisingly well compared to other countries of the region. The DUNews filming crew visited Almaty, Kazakhstan’s ‘Southern Capital’ and Largest City – watch their video with English subtitles to learn more!
Portugal is praised for its decriminalisation model but austerity measures often undermine the well-being of people who use drugs and thus, endanger the whole system. Ximene Rego from the research team of our Portuguese partner, APDES assessed the situation.
“Together with you, we create a city we want to live in.” David Pesek’s video and article about how local residents, NGOs and drug user activists recapture the city for a day.
“Imagine that you ingested the poison and needed to find the antidote in an unfamiliar city, among strangers, in just three days. And you can count only on yourself!” Watch the video of Drug Users News.
Estonia is a country hit hard by the opioid overdose epidemic. People struggling with overdoses in other countries can learn a lot from the Estonian example about what works and what does not work in preventing deaths and suffering. We interviewed Mart Kalvet, an activist representing LUNEST, the Estonian organisation of people who use drugs.
How cultural attitudes, the political environment, and donor expectations shape harm reduction – and how they can divert it from its original mission as a movement.
“An example of not learning from good practice.” Darko Kostovski, a psychiatrist from Skopje, highlights the problems the clients of opiate substitution treatment face in Macedonia.
Hepatitis C is not only a health issue. Without addressing the social exclusion of Roma people, repressive drug policies and the attacks against NGOs, there is no way to end the epidemic. Lessons learnt from Hungary.