The members of Drugreporter’s video advocacy network produced a movie about the new generation of synthetic drugs that conquered Poland in 2008 – and are still popular.
European Drug Policy
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.
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
In this time of crisis, harm reduction activists must go beyond their regular demands and urge governments to act quickly to prevent a public health crisis transforming into a social collapse (Greek translation).
“Road 184” is a movie about the Estonian Community of People who Use Psychotropic Substances, LUNEST, the first officially registered Estonian organization that protects the rights of drug users. Today, LUNEST unites people who speak different languages and have different citizenship, as well as those who do not have any citizenship in Estonia.
“The Rising Wave” is a movie about the organization from Lithuania “Young Wave” (“Jauna Banga” in Lithuanian), which deals with the use of psychoactive substances by young people.
The EU Drugs Strategy (2013-20) expires this year and there are huge gaps in its implementation. Policy documents that are not enforced damage the credibility of the EU. To avoid this, we should revise the paradigm and create a new framework for actions.
It is time for drug professionals, including the harm reduction community, to have a say about the upcoming regulation of the European cannabis market. If not, we miss an important historical opportunity to shape the future.
In this report we present four best practices in the field of drug demand and harm reduction from three countries. With this report, we would like to promote the culture of evaluation both among civil society organisations and decision makers.
The city of Marseilles decided to open its first drug consumption room. Read our interview with Beatrice Strambul, who has been in the forefront of the harm reduction movement in France since the 1990s.
Drugreporter and Harm Reduction International co-organises the International Harm Reduction Film Festival next week in Porto, sponsored by Elton John AIDS Fund. There is an incredibly strong selection of movies – browse the programme and watch some trailers below!