Sister Morphine, Mother Methadone

Guest blog: Thank you to our guest blogger this month, who has given us, incredibly in just under 600 words, an engaging, intimate yet candid reveal of over 38 years of a life entwined with heroin. A small yet perfectly formed piece of literature, complete and ready for the drug user’s historical book of insight and prose. Now there’s a book in the making friends: Page 1…

Written by Anon: or rather A Mature User – AKA Muser.

Sister Morphine, Mother Methadone

After that first snort – that was it – I thought ‘my life was sorted’.  I just felt like, I was at peace. I had confidence. It got rid of the fear of intimacy, I enjoyed sex. It really was a eureka moment. I didn’t wake up with a hangover (little did I know) and it just seemed like you didn’t have to pay the piper.  I thought, ‘You and I can get on well together, Sister Morphine’.

Flaming June: By Fredrick, Lord Leighton, 1830-1896

Flaming June: By Fredrick, Lord Leighton, 1830-1896

I shoulda known it couldn’t last.

Even as a very young kid, when someone used to put their arm around me and say ‘everything is going to be ok’, I never believed them. Never. But heroin, then, made me believe that all was good with the world, for a while anyway. The ritual, the scoring, bringing it home – it was like a present, unwrapping it, it was exciting. It takes away that angst. Until it becomes all about where that next hit is coming from.

I sometimes think I’ll probably never give it up. Because over the years it became more than just about the drug, it became a habit – it became everyone, and touched everything,  I knew.  It’s not exciting anymore. I think now, ‘why the fuck am I still doing this?’.  Sister morphine has become mother methadone, and the thought of withdrawals terrify me.  I have to say methadone is the most boring fucking drug…Its just so BORING!

usingTime Flies

What have I got from 38 years with heroin, apart from ageing and hepatitis C?! ….. Well, I’ve  met so  many ‘interesting” people, the good, the bad and the ugly and all sorts in between; worked with some wonderful people and I’ve ducked, dived and taken some mind-blowing gambles that I’d never have considered taking without the need for smack pushing me on. I was never gonna make it as a suburban housewife anyway. I think the older users’ voice needs to be heard. There is this old people’s home up the road from me and when I pass it I look in the window and I just think I couldn’t do it. The patients, people, and none of them would be users, I mean what would they do with people like me; how would we get treated? Older junkies with attitude …..Crash, bang, pow!!

But Then Again…

But…I dunno. I often wonder what I would of done if I didn’t take heroin. I think I would

Les Morphinees, illustration from 'Le Petit Journal', engraved by H. Meyer and F. Melville, 1891.

Les Morphinees, illustration from ‘Le Petit Journal’, engraved by H. Meyer and F. Melville, 1891.

have been an alcoholic. Coz I’ve always needed a little something between me the world.  Wordsworth said in some poem, ‘“The world is too much with us”’*  I often think that’s one of the truest sayings ever, it could be my motto.  For me and I’m sure for many others, we just need a filter between us and reality. Wait, that’s a bit strong…It’s like, when you’re walking across the road and there’s bright lights and cars and horns blaring, it’s like an assault; Heroin is the filter that helps make things a bit more bearable.

I do think tho that, people have such low expectations of drug users, yet the people I’ve met, seriously, are so amazing, different, sensitive and…yeah, it really saddens me when I talk to people and how they think drug users are. Because it’s not just about the publics’ attitude to us; it’s  about how powerfully that can impact our view of ourselves. So, what to do?  An older woman .with Hep, C , on a methadone script, using on top with hepatitis C with other aches and pains?…beam be up Scotty!! A Mature User AKA Muser.

* The World Is Too Much with Us

william_wordsworth

By William Wordsworth, 1806

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. –Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

For More Information about the poem and its meaning go to…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Too_Much_with_Us

Posted in personal insights, Women | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Netherlands – Coffee Anyone?

Catching Up on Dutch Coffee Shop News

Hello folks,

coffee-shop

Just thought readers might like a small update on the coffee shop / marijuana situation in the Netherlands and the city we all adore, Amsterdam. For a while now we have been hearing about a ban on cannabis for any foreigners visiting Amsterdam, in fact there were a lot of rumours and myths going around as to what exactly was going on.  The reality today is quite a complex set of rules pressing down on the coffee shops of old and making their existence that much more difficult.

In fact, as is usual when the government gets involved and doesn’t really seek the views of the affected communities (and only focuses on the needs of big business), it seems the Netherlands’ has become more of a place where its coffee shops are being run and supplied by those without any community mindedness while others are busy tying up legislation to make sure only the right kind of fat cats will reap the rewards. There is angst and consternation behind the scenes of our dearly loved Dutch coffee shop system these days!

Let’s just put things in a little perspective; there were around 400 coffee shops dotted around Amsterdam in the 1990’s, of every shape and size, ambience and groove to suit even the fussiest dope smoker – we all remember the sounds, smells and conversations emerging from those smokey hubs of conversation, chillin’  and ‘the big lazy idea’! But today,  in 2015, there are less than half of those coffee shops  left.

dope leaf

The Poke in the Blind Eye

For decades now, it has been Dutch leaders who have been agreeing to turn a blind eye to the running of the coffee shops as long as they met certain requirements and the locals declared they were happy enough too. However, those requirements are now constantly changing and are being too often being implemented alongside the popularity contests and whims of local politicians.

So today, many more rules and regulations have come to the door of the Dutch coffee shop, some owners felt they were being squeezed out of business; rules such as  –

  • not more than 5 grams per person per day may be sold;
  • hard drugs must not be sold;
  • there must be no sales to minors and minors must not be allowed into a coffee shop;
  • no alcohol may be served on the premises;
  • there must be no advertising of drugs;
  • there must be no disturbances in the vicinity of the shop;
  • the shops’ stock must not exceed 500 grams.

OK – all of those sound relatively reasonable. But it isn’t those rules, it is others that are cause the difficulties, such as the particularly challenging ‘a premises cannot be within 250 meters from a school’, which caused 40 coffee shops to instantly close. (A coffee shop is unable to re-open once it is shut, causing people to rightly fear that, after a time, no coffee shops will be left at all). And there are more discretionary rules like “do not cause a nuisance.”  In the end, each municipality has to decide if these rules are being followed.

Another rule has become known as the ‘Wietpas’, better known as ….

The Weed Pass for Foreigners

This ‘Wietpas’ or Weed Pass rule is probably the most infamous one to have happened. It is also the one all of us foreigner’s want to know about. What has happened to this law?

In 2012, which we reported on here, the ‘wietpas’, or weed pass, was  brought in. It was designed as we know,  to curb cannabis tourism by banning those annoying, drunk foreigners from the many usually peaceful, coffee shops. Fortunately for many, cities were allowed to opt out of the scheme, and for Amsterdam – which stood to lose millions of tourist dollars – the decision was simple, the mayor said,  ‘No Thanks’. The national law that was banning foreigners from buying weed at the legal coffee shops has actually become widely ignored in most of the country since its inception, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the two largest cities whose mayors basically refuse to comply with the central government’s decision.

Currently, it is only the country’s southern provinces that have implemented the ban outlawing the sale of drugs to tourists by the infamous coffee shops and have limited sales to government-issued “weed pass”-carrying locals.

The coffee shop owners argue that the ban has devastated their business, damaged the local economy and led to an increase in illegal street dealing.

We Told You So!

A Dutch News article comparing ‘police and city council figures’ reports that “the decision to ban foreigners not resident in the Netherlands’ from the country’s cannabis cafes have led to an ‘explosion’ in drug-related crime in the south of the country. The governments’ decision to turn the cafes into ‘members only clubs’ in the southern provinces last May led to a sharp rise in street dealing. In Maastricht, at the forefront of efforts to reduce drug tourism, the number of drug crimes has doubled over the past year while in Roermond they are up three-fold with at least 60 active street dealers.”

Although according to other surveys recently published in the local Dutch press, two-thirds of the entire country’s 478 cannabis cafes continue to sell marijuana to tourists, it appears to be creating a new, north-south cannabis selling divide. And although there were many tourists in the border areas in the past, they were busy buying food, smoking dope, staying in hotels, spending money in legal places, etc. Now the local inhabitants seem to be really annoyed at the ‘change’ of the atmosphere into ‘pushy drug dealing’. Cannabis buyers must now buy off the local heroin or crack dealer in some darkened street, which is a real shame when all of us could have just bought it in a COFFEE SHOP like a normal person! Prohibition strikes again.

In any case, the ban at least appears to leave a loophole for a local, ‘tailor-made’ approach, permitting licensed coffee shops to continue selling small amounts of cannabis to any adult for personal use and there has been a court case brewing declaring the ban ‘unconstitutional’, which it may indeed be.

coffee shop

Amsterdam’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, for example, has made clear that his city will not ban tourists from its 220 coffee shops because “the legislation makes it possible to take local circumstances into account.” The mayors of many other towns support and follow his position, and a recent visit to Amsterdam by yours truly also confirms this kind of weedy old fashioned kindness still extended to foreigners. Phew!

Once again, the grey areas in Dutch laws, mean the rest of us can breathe a massive sigh of relief and can still squeeze quietly through the doors marked ‘this way, just more quietly please’. And do keep in mind, while possession is not legal the police do turn a blind eye to people with less than five grams. So civilised!

At least 10 of Netherlands’ local councils, among them some of the biggest cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague have called for regulated growing, arguing that legalized production would remove organized crime from the equation. But others think that such solution would just require only government-licensed growers, and that would mean an even greater crackdown on foreign imports and possibly even dumping any local producers in favour of the slicker big business types.

What About Americas’ Smokin’ Hopefuls?

If vast legal grey areas are still the Dutch model’s biggest liabilities, then, where America is concerned, stability is Washington’s biggest strength. Very little is going to be left to chance under ruling I-502. “Each marijuana grower, processor, and seller will be vetted, licensed, and watched over. Marijuana will be traceable, tested for quality, and come equipped with a lot number, a warning label, and the concentration of THC. Retailers will look more like pharmacies than drug dens and, most importantly, smoking pot inside the stores will be strictly verboten. Prohibiting Amsterdam-style coffee shops wasn’t an oversight, but a pragmatic decision meant to allay the fears of some of Washington’s more conservative voters. After spending much time and money on public opinion research, I-502 organizers realized the idea – however unfounded – of a bunch of perpetually stoned kids lurking around neighborhood coffee shops was just too much for many Washingtonians to stomach.”  Thanks to  C. Rodreigez from Forbes Life.

With thanks to  Cecilia Rodriguez from ForbesLife   and  C. Christofferson CityLab.com

BUT!!! Don’t Miss This!!!

for all the best films on drug reporting

This terrific new short movie, supplementing the fascinating report of the Open Society Foundation

, tells the story of the Dutch model and highlights its successes, as well as the challenges ahead of it. Drugreporter says ” It is an English website created by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. The website was created in 2004 to promote drug policy reform advocacy in the region. In 2007 we started our video advocacy program and our website has become an international hub for English and Russian language news articles, blogs and films about harm reduction and drug policy reform. Our film database has hundreds of short films aiming at educating and mobilising people.”

But Wait Again!!

Drug-related death and disease are less prevalent than in many countries with restrictive drug laws. This is the conclusion of the report produced by the Open Society Foundations, authored by two excellent researchers, Jean-Paul Grund and Joost Breeksema. Click the link ahead  to download the report! coffee-shops-and-compromise-20130713

Check Out The DR Film, thanks HCLU!

Final note: Just a thought – this was a story about Britain getting its first cannabis coffee shop in Kent, discussed just last year! Click here if your interested. We in Britain await with baited, but ageing, breath…

 

 

Posted in Europe, Europe, Regional News & Info, videos | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Global State of Harm Reduction for 2014

We Must Not Be Left Behind 

“In most communities, people who inject drugs don’t have access to syringes to prevent infections, opioid substitution treatment, or naloxone to prevent overdose. Moreover, people who use drugs are denied basic health services. They have no access to non-judgmental primary care, mental health and drug treatment services, and the support they need to maintain stable, healthy lives. And yet, harm reduction has been proven time and again to be extremely effective in curbing HIV transmission. In settings where comprehensive harm reduction has been implemented, HIV rates among people who inject drugs are low—in some cases, almost negligible.”  The Global State of Harm Reduction 2014

So why, why why  are such effective solutions still being left behind on the political table? We can see the results of what being ‘Left Behind’ really means – burgeoning disease and death. It’s all so avoidable!

One of the sectors most useful and interesting reports released its 2014 data, last week.  The report -The Global State of Harm Reduction which was first published back in 2008 by Harm Reduction International, provides independent analysis of the state of harm reduction across the world.  This enabled a really useful baseline to be developed, against which we can now measure actual progress of harm reduction in its global march of common sense. It now allows us all to see much more clearly,  the actual mapping  of harm reduction policy adoption as it occurs, as well as programme implementation globally. It has also permitted the documentation of the various, associated responses to the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics that are related to  injecting and non-injecting drug use and perhaps most importantly, we can see the results of  implementing harm reduction practices on the health of drug users across the world.

About US $ 2.3 billion annually is estimated by UNAIDS to be required to fund HIV GSHR-2014-coverprevention among people who inject drugs in 2015. At the last estimate, only US$ 160 million was invested by international donors – approximately seven per cent of what is required. In contrast to the lack of funding for harm reduction, each year governments spend over $100 billion on arrest and imprisonment of people who use drugs, destruction of drug crops and other drug control measures. HRI argues that if just a tenth of this money were redirected to harm reduction, it could fill the gap in HIV and Hepatitis C prevention for people who use drugs twice over.

Eliot Albers, our Executive Director at INPUD,  wrote the forward for the Global State of Harm Reduction 2014, and explained just how profoundly linked are the entwined issues of donor funding, prevention spending and the epidemiological spread of HIV and HCV disease. Investment in harm reduction as part of overall prevention spending is nowhere near proportionate to the reality affecting people who inject drugs on the ground, illustrating, Eliot says, that “donor priorities are out of alignment with epidemiological trends”.

It seems clear that as long as governments refuse to invest equally in prevention, those incredible strides forward during the last 30 years of HIV, end up being whittled away.

The INPUD Executive Director added, “Whilst the retreat from investment in harm reduction places the lives, health, and rights of millions of people who use drugs around the world in jeopardy, the international drug users’ movement has never been stronger, having successfully fought to occupy our rightful place as a vital partner in every debate that impacts upon our lives and health on the global, regional and national stages”.

However, he went on to say that success of this agenda is contingent upon investment in community systems, strengthening and empowering organisations, networks, and communities of people who use drugs.  Eliot also stated  “If [harm reduction] services are to be truly accessible, acceptable, and appropriate, they must be returned through a process of power-shifting to the communities they serve.”

We must fight to be seen as the solution to improving the health of our communities, and to never to be framed as the problem. And we must never accept the reality of what it means to be ‘Left Behind’.

“Every person left behind is a fellow human being – someone’s child, someone’s parent, someone’s friend, someone’s partner. Every one of them has a right to life and to health. Every one of them deserves compassion, and dignity, and love.” (David Furnish, Elton John Foundation: Forward in the Global State of Harm Reduction, 2014)

Some of the main points to emerge from this report over 2014 were (actually this report is a biennial document -all relevant links below)

Main Points to Emerge Over 2014:

  • Good and Bad: In 2014, 90 countries and territories implement Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSPs) to varying degrees but another 68 countries with reported injecting drug use, do not provide any NSP services
  • Good: Malaysia, along with Iran and Australia, had experienced the steepest increase in the number of NSP centres, from 297 sites in 2012 to 728 in 2014.
  • Bad: The provision of NSP in prisons globally has declined since 2012 with only 43 countries provide OST in the prison setting;
  • Good: In 2014, 80 countries and territories implement OST (Opiate Substitution Therapy/treatment -mainly methadone and buprenorphine);
  • Bad: An estimated eight percent of the world´s injecting drug users can actually access opioid substitution therapy such as methadone or on a global average they are only able to access two clean needles per month.
  • Worrying: New and emerging patterns of injecting drug use in sub-Saharan African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Zanzibar and Kenya will require a further scaling up of the provision of opioid substitution therapy (OST) such as methadone and buprenorphine and needle syringe programmes (NSP) in order to effectively respond to the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic amongst people who inject drugs in the region. In 2012 the Kenyan government announced the initiation of NSPs within the country, resulting in ten newly operational sites in 2014.
  • Worrying: It also notes the concerns over the documentation of high-risk injecting practices, including that of flashblood occurring in Tanzania and Zanzibar (see link) and the marked increase in stimulant use that is evidenced in research into increased risk behaviours for sexual transmission of HIV. It cites as an example, that in Western Cape Province, the proportion of admissions to drug treatment facilities for methamphetamine as the primary drug used increased from 0.8 per cent in 2001 to 52 per cent in 2011.  The recent establishment and scale up of community based opioid substitution therapy (OST) in Tanzania is a significant step forward, rising from one site to three in the city of Dar es Salaam. This makes the OST programme in Tanzania the largest government-run programme in the region, with over 1,200 people receiving methadone in 2013.  There has also been a scale up of NSPs in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, increasing from one site in 2012 to seven in 2014.
  • Good: In 2014 there were 88 drug consumption rooms (DCRs) operating worldwide – outside of Europe two DCRs are in operation, one in Australia and one in Canada. In Western Europe, Denmark saw the implementation of five DCRs, and both Spain and Switzerland, who had previous DCRs in operation increased their site provision by six each.
  •  Good: The provision of overdose prevention medication (e.g. Naloxone) has increased most markedly in North America.In the United States, as of June 2014, there are 30 states plus Washington DC that have at least one point of access for laypersons to obtain Naloxone for people who use drugs – or friends and family;
  • Worrying: In the Middle East and Northern Africa region (MENA), one of only two regions in the world that continue to experience increases in HIV infection rates, harm reduction coverage is non-existent in many countries. However, small scale implementation of needle syringe programs now operate in Egypt and Jordan.
  • Good: Iran continues to be word leader both in and outside the region – OST and NSP are widely available in the community as well as prisons;
  • Worrying: The Eurasian region is home to an estimated 3.1 million people who inject drugs, with two of the largest populations living in Russia (1.8 million)) and Ukraine (310,000). Eastern Europe and Central Asia is one of two regions globally where rates of HIV infection are continuing to rise. Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is available in 26 countries of the region, with only three countries reporting evidence of injecting drug use not providing OST: Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In Russia it is a criminal offence to promote or supply methadone;

To download your copy of the Global state of Harm Reduction 2014, click here.

INPUD discusses the International Harm Reduction Conference, 2015

Twitter: @HRInews / http://www.twitter.com/HRInews

Posted in Eastern European Countries, Europe, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, IHRA, Latin Countries, law enforcement, methadone | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My Treatment, Their Treatment, My Hell

poppy4

 

I’m sitting here, furious. My anger is palpable it’s so real and although I was thinking no, I won’t have time to do this blog tonight, I have changed my mind because my fury is now driving me. The Mental Health System in the UK? Yeah, I can tell you about that lets see where shall I start?

MentalAnguish_scissors

Art from iloveaks (click for link)

 

 

 

Me

I’m a survivor of incestous sexual abuse, of domestic violence/abuse, of the realities of sex work…I am a “problematic” drug user,  a crack injector who’s spending in the region of £300.00 a day in the hope that the next hit is gonna be the one – the one that finally sends me over but no, oh no ….. I’m still here!  Still here, after years of abuse and bullying and what have my local mental health team done for me? Nada, absolutely fucking nothing!

My diagnosis? What does it even matter because MentalAnguishSillouettelike so many others before me I’ve had no choice but to learn how to live with this alone! But for those interested I’ll list my ills which include post traumatic stress disorder and underlying anxiety disorder, night terrors and insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and an ‘antisocial personality disorder’ diagnosis.

Instead of being assessed and medicated correctly by my local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) and GP, they take one look at my drug using history and they make an immediate judgement; “I did this to myself” and therefore I don’t deserve to be listened to or cared for.

My Husband

My late husband was in the same situation. He killed himself. It happened 2 years ago but it might as well as have been yesterday; I walked into the living room and found him … dead, still sitting upright on the sofa.

Just four days before I had had a huge argument with the Community Mental Health Team and I told them I was not leaving until they put some treatment in place for Joe! They palmed him off with a referral to some inadequate  project .

It was too little, too late for Joe.  The plain and simple fact is that for 18 months no one was hearing him or me and four days later he was dead because they did not care!

The fact is that in my country today if you have mental health problems coupled with ‘drug use’ you are invisible as far as professionals (I believe thats what they call themselves?) are concerned. It really feels like they have to ‘put up with you’ whilst working out ways in which to discharge you out of their care. I truly believe that the reason this happens is because the whole issue of dual diagnosis is perceived as just too complicated to manage.

MissU

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, mental health nurses for the most part, are not trained in addiction psychology, their training ends when they acquire their degrees and from there on in it’s a journey of crisis management. Many look upon it as a self imposed disorder that appears to divert the resources from mental health’s more deserving patients. Therefore, the often simpler route for them is to make a referral into the care of a drug service regardless of whether or not the drug service has the skilled professionals available to work with such complex needs .

It’s easier for many to use the  psychiatric professions’ standard excuse that ‘we need the individual to be drug free in order to assess the state of mind’. However, today’s recommended treatment for co-occurring disorders is now an integrated approach, where both the substance problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously.

 The ignorance surrounding drugs and drug users and the resulting prejudice shown towards this client group is now so entrenched in the institutional culture that it has become the norm to just dismiss those drug users who are suffering from severe mental distress.

The ignorance surrounding drugs and drug users and the resulting prejudice shown towards this client group, something the profession would never of course admit to, is now so entrenched in the institutional culture that it has become the norm to just dismiss those drug users who are suffering from severe mental distress.

Most, if not all CMHT’s are under funded so expecting any innovative or forward thinking approaches regarding improving the quality of life for people who suffer with mental health problems is nothing more than wishful thinking. What we need are proper multifaceted treatment centres with a range of different approaches and interventions that can deal with prescribing regimes and are not influenced by a ridiculous notion that most patients do nothing more than engage in pleasure seeking behaviours.

We need the mental health system to become a vocation once again, for it to employ staffmental-illness that actually care, staff that want to engage in partnership work and listen to their patients and their families in order to create care plans that include the views and needs of the patient/client. Then they must refer patients to the right places for continued care and support in the community. Money needs to be invested into our mental health services, the majority of them look like wash houses, they’re drab, falling apart, and look gloomy and depressing. My God, if you wanted to kill yourself before you go into one of these facilities you’ll make sure your suicide plan does not fail the second time round, just so that you don’t end up back inside one of these hell holes!

My Son

Eye

Art by iloveyaks.deviantart.com

My son…For god’s sake, it has taken them 12 years to give him the correct diagnosis of autism. From the age of 16 he was incorrectly labelled as a paranoid schizophrenic and after countless sections’ in the psychiatric ward and a pointless number of rehabilitation centres later they finally give him the correct diagnosis, but guess what? They can’t find a suitable rehab for him because they don’t exist in this country!  Bloody marvellous isn’t it? Apparently his condition has a component related to language which has just recently been identified and there are not enough facilities or trained staff to be able to work with this disability.

You may be thinking “oh she’s just mad because both her and her family have been shunted back and forth from one service to another without any positive effect” but no, this is not the case.  I am angry, of course I am but something has to happen, this type of patient negligence cannot continue.

Yes, this is our “big society” Britain today, make sure you tick all the boxes else you don’t belong here!

Anon

Posted in Europe, Injection Drug Use, Regional Information, Women | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

INPUD LAUNCHES FOUR NEW DOCUMENTS OF THE DRUG USER PEACE INITIATIVE

17 JANUARY 2015

The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) has launched four key

Dr

Drug Peace

documents as part of its Drug User Peace Initiative campaign, each with a specific focus, and preceded by an Executive Summary and Foreword:

– Human Rights Violations of People who Use Drugs
– Stigmatising People who Use Drugs
– A War on the Health of People who Use Drugs
– A War on Women who Use Drugs

The Drug User Peace Initiative is a unique contribution to the growing global debate about, and demand for, a critical rethinking of the prevailing dogmas of punitive drug prohibition. The Drug User Peace Initiative’s uniqueness springs from the fact that it is a major statement from the perspective of the drug using community itself. The four separate, but interlinked, documents, show clearly the systemic harms done to the health, civil liberties, human rights, dignity and autonomy of people who use drugs from our perspective, and demand an end to the war waged on our community on our terms. The documents will serve as INPUD’s principal advocacy tool as we prepare for the2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), and lay out a clear and compelling case for progressive change from the community most adversely affected by the militarised war on drugs.

The Drug User Peace Initiative demonstrates that the war on drugs has served as a pretext for social control, has been endemically racist, and has impacted most extremely on women who use drugs, young people who use drugs, poor people and communities of colour. Demanding a drug war peace is an essential element of any comprehensive agenda for far reaching systemic change based on human rights, civil liberties, equity, and a concern for the empowerment of marginalised communities.

Please invite your friends, community and family to sign up to and support our campaign. Together, we can end the war on drugs.


The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) is a global peer-based organisation that seeks to promote the health and defend the rights of people who use drugs. INPUD will expose and challenge stigma, discrimination, and the criminalisation of people who use drugs and its impact on our community’s health and rights. INPUD will achieve this through processes of empowerment and international advocacy.www.inpud.net

The papers of the Drug User Peace Initiative are part of INPUD’s work under Bridging the Gaps – Health and Rights for Key Populations. In this programme, almost 100 local and international organisations have united to reach 1 mission: achieving universal access to HIV/STI prevention, treatment, care and support for key populations, including sex workers, LGBT people and people who use drugs. Bridging the Gaps is funded through the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Go to www.hivgaps.org for more information.

The production of the of the Drug User Peace Initiative documents has been made possible with the financial support [in part] of the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund and supported [in part] by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.

http://www.druguserpeaceinitiative.org/

http://www.inpud.net/INPUD_Press_Release_Drug_User_Peace_Initiative_17Jan15.pdf

Posted in Campaigns, INPUD | Tagged | 2 Comments