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USA. Drug Users Are Forming Unions To Protect Their Rights And Safety

Self-organized groups of opioid users are working together to stay alive and fight the stigma of drug use -- even if they’re not trying to quit.

With 287 members divided into chapters around New England, NEUU is one of several unions of drug users around the country. Like labor unions, tenant unions and many other counterparts, drug user unions operate on the premise that people facing a common problem should work together to fight the systems that perpetuate it. (Huffington Post, UK, 19.12.2017)


The IDUIT Brief Guide for People who Use Drugs

People who use drugs are heavily affected by HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and tuberculosis (TB) and are often neglected in countries’ and cities’ responses to the epidemics. There are effective means to prevent and treat HIV, HCV and TB among people who use drugs, but resources (financial, human and material) are often not adequately invested to make them accessible. The reasons for this are multifaceted and include criminalization, stigma, discrimination and denial of basic human rights to people who use drugs. This IDUIT Brief Guide for People who Use Drugs is intended to outline the key concepts of Implementing Comprehensive HIV and HCV Programs with People who Inject Drugs: Practical Guidance for Collaborative Interventions (the IDUIT) related to prevention, treatment and empowerment with regard to HIV and HCV, and point to how activists and professionals from among the community of people who use drugs might promote better policy and practice. (INPUD - International Network of People Who Use Drugs, 2017)


Last week, a record-breaking 205 cities in 93 countries joined the Support Don’t Punish campaign’s ‘Global Day of Action’. Activists, members of affected communities and allies joined a wonderfully-broad range of events and activities around the globe to decry the harmful, anachronistic, policies that structure the harmful war on drugs. (supportdontpunish.org, 06.07.2017)


VANCOUVER -- Had Al Fowler known more about his rights before enrolling in British Columbia's methadone treatment program in 2010, he may have avoided what he describes as a two-year "horror-show" while living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Fowler says the stigma and exploitation he experienced is part of what inspired him to co-author a handbook on how to navigate the province's opioid-substitution therapy program.

(...) Bill Nelles, a retired addiction counsellor based on Vancouver Island, said the handbook attempts to show the provincial government that people in drug-recovery programs want to be involved in matters that concern them.

"You may have heard, 'Nothing about us without us,' " said Nelles, who has been on a methadone program for 40 years. "But we're not there yet." (ctvnews.ca, Kanada, 15.02.2017)


Today, on the 26th of June, activists from all over the world are taking action against global drug prohibition under the "Support. Don't Punish" slogan. Please read our interview with the coordinator of the campaign, Jamie Bridge, who is a senior policy and operations manager at the International Drug Policy Consortium! (Drug Reporter, Ungarn, 25.06.2017)


Kanada: Patients Helping Patients Understand Opioid Substitution Treatment

This handbook is the result of the dedicated work of a group of patients who all have many years of experience with medication-assisted treatments for opioid dependence. The need for, and desire to produce, such a handbook was repeatedly expressed in a series of multi-stakeholder consultations on opioid substitution treatment (OST) organized by the Centre for Addictions Research of BC at the request of the BC Ministry of Health beginning in 2013. In 2016 the Ministry of Health provided resources to support a group of patients to undertake the work of writing this handbook and the Centre for Addictions Research of BC provided coordinating and editing support. (Centre for Addictions Research of BC, 2017)


The World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse organized, for the first time, the global Forum on alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviours (FADAB) with the primary goal of enhancing public health actions in these areas by strengthening partnerships and collaboration among public health oriented organizations, networks and institutions in the era of Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030). International Drug Policy Consortium, Harm Reduction International and International Network of People Who Use Drugs issued a joint statement at the forum. (IDPC - International Drug Policy Consortium, 26.06.2017)


The harms caused by the war on drugs can no longer be ignored. It’s time to leave behind harmful politics, ideology and prejudice.


Bridging the Gaps is a strategic partnership with and funded by Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands


Representing the Interests of People who Use Drugs in Europe


The film takes us through one day in the life of eight people, from seven cities, in seven different countries of the world, from morning until night. They all have something in common - all of them use drugs. But these people are not defined by their drug use. All of them have their unique personalities, stories, and social networks. And the environment in which they live, the attitudes they face, the laws that regulate drug use, and the health services available to them have an enormous impact on their lives. This film is not only about drug users - it was also produced by drug users. It strives to challenge our common myths and preconceptions about drugs and the people who use them. It gives a voice to those representing one of the most marginalised communities of our world, to tell stories untold about hate, love, suffering, and happiness. It shows how they engage in social activism to break the silence and fight the stigma that shadows their days. (Drug Reporter, 05.06.2017, Video, 1:25:54)


As a community based network, we represent people who use drugs, including women who use and inject drugs, and advocate for issues pertinent to us in the Asia region.