Our new film features the story of Netti, her son Sam, and their experience with services for pregnant women who use drugs in Berlin.
Netti had a difficult life. Living as a sex worker who used drugs in Berlin she was exposed to many risks, including financial exploitation from pimps and dealers and stigmatisation from society. She met the father of her child at a detox centre. When she got pregnant, she started her journey in the social and healthcare system of Berlin, which is perceived as pretty good from a global perspective. Still, she had to face several unexpected challenges and barriers.
Alexandra Gurinova and Agnes Pakozdi, members of Drugreporter’s global video advocacy network, met Netti when she was pregnant and followed her until Sam was born and some time after. They walked together to different social and medical services in Berlin, focused on special needs of women using drugs – from shelter to substitution treatment and birth clinic. They explored together how much the healthcare system can offer.
Although the new UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Treatment says that “many pregnant women with substance use disorders have few if any parenting skills, and may lack basic knowledge about child development and childrearing”, Netti has pretty good “parental skills”, not reduced by the fact that she uses opiates. She has become a wonderful mother. Netti and Sam are in a long-term Mother-Child Therapy program now. Both are doing great.
Posted by Peter Sarosi
Video: Agnes Pakozdi and Alexandra Gurinova (Deutsche AIDS Hilfe)