The International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) is an international, not-for-profit, member-based organization dedicated to scientific knowledge exchange, education, and advocacy focused on improving health for people who use drugs, including focusing on hepatitis C prevention and care for people who use drugs.
INHSU annual conferences are a unique opportunity to connect with the global community working to improve health outcomes for people who use drugs including the prevention, treatment and care of hepatitis C. Their 9th International Conference on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users will be held 8 – 10 October 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Focused on supporting scientific exchange and knowledge dissemination, the conference provides delegates with access to the latest research and evidence regarding effective treatment and care to improve health outcomes for people who use drugs, with a specific focus on hepatitis C prevention, treatment and care. It provides an opportunity for those working in this area to share their research and professional expertise with leaders working in this field. It profiles cutting edge practice that links people who use drugs to prevention, treatment and care in a range of clinical, custodial and community settings.
This conference also brings together leaders engaged in the global effort to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030.
Have a look at the conference promotional video
A number of scholarship opportunities are available for the full or partial scholarships for the Conference.
A full scholarship will include: conference registration, return economy class flights and accommodation. A partial scholarship will include conference registration.
To apply you must be currently enrolled in a BSc, PhD or Masters Degree and submit an abstract before the deadline: Sunday 15 March 2019.
The University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) will be joining forces once again next summer to hold the ninth European drugs summer school (EDSS) on ‘Illicit drugs in Europe: demand, supply and public policies’. This two-week course will take place in the Portuguese capital from 29 June to 10 July 2020.
Professionals, academics and experts from the Western Balkan region* will have an opportunity to participate in the EDSS this year, thanks to three bursaries being offered through the EMCDDA Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance 7 project (IPA7), which kicked off in July 2019. The aim of the three-year project, running until June 2022, is to ensure that the six IPA beneficiaries (1) are able to participate effectively in the activities of the EMCDDA and the Reitox network upon EU accession.
The bursaries will cover flights and EDSS fees.
The deadline for applications is 26 February 2020 and successful candidates will be notified by 9 March 2020.
The International Overdose Awareness Day, originated in Melbourne, Australia in 2001, has grown into a global campaign aimed to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It is also an opportunity to stimulate discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy.
The campaign in2019 was the most successful yet. Their 2019 IOAD Partners’ Report shows that 874 events were organised in 39 participating countries worldwide. This is a new record, surpassing the previous high of 747 set last year. This year’s campaign brought more than 273,000 visitors to the IOAD website. Visitors to the website downloaded our online resources – posters, fact sheets, and event support kits – more than 20,000 times.
We have promoted the campaign in our news and reported about the press release we published and the activities during the IOA day held in Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia. Unfortunately, only those from Montenegro and Slovenia were mentioned in the report.
Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) is looking for national partners (country consortia, NGOs, community organizations and initiative groups) to develop and implement 4 national campaigns under the branding of “Chase the virus, not people!” in countries of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
Aim of the campaign is to strengthen the voice and influence of national activists at the national level in articulating their advocacy priorities and drawing the attention of target audiences to the problems of key populations in relation to the catastrophic HIV/AIDS epidemic in the EECA region, in particular the impact of stigma, discrimination and criminalization on effective response measures to HIV/AIDS epidemic and mortality reduction.
EHRA is issuing 4 grants to the winners in the open competition (NGO, community organization or initiative groups, which are officially registered or have financial agents).
Since the late 1980s, the issue of drugs in prison has been an important social topic. The new issue of Théma – magazine of the French monitoring centre for drugs and drug addictions (OFDT) offers a summary of existing work on the subject in order to document the extent and nature of uses, their consequences and the responses to them. This work adopts a double approach: a review of narrative literature allowing a retrospective over 20 years and the promotion of the last work of the OFDT produced on the question.
The inventory drawn up by this publication Théma is an opportunity to recall that, if the uses are much higher among incarcerated people than in the rest of the population, the answers provided come up against contradictions between the prison logic of one side and the healing logic on the other.
The 2019 strategy for the health of people under judicial care provides for the implementation of new epidemiological surveys and innovative responses with regard to users.
DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević had a long interview for Talas – Serbia based media portal “about politics, economy and ideas”. That was an exceptional opportunity for a long and comprehensive presentation of an open and active approach the Network has on drug policy.
The issues involved included:
What are the biggest misconceptions about drugs that exist in public?
How do laws regulate drugs in Serbia? Which changes are needed?
Does the current “War on drugs” produce results and what are the alternative approaches?
What does the application of the law look like in this field?
What is the principle of opportunity and how often is it used?
What is the principle of harm reduction?
How dangerous is the stigmatization of users and how do we deal with it?
What does rehabilitation look like in Serbia?
Is marijuana legalization an economic opportunity for Serbia?
The interview, unfortunately only in Serbia, is available here
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) just published a new report “Monitoring and evaluating changes in cannabis policies: insights from the Americas“. This report provides an overview of the changes in cannabis policies in the Americas and the evidence emerging from evaluations of their impact. The focus of the report is shifted to recent changes to regulatory systems in the Americas that permit the consumption of cannabis by adults for non-medical, recreational purposes.
Over the past 50 years, several jurisdictions in Europe, Australia and the Americas have reduced the penalties associated with using or possessing small amounts of cannabis. As of December 2019, Canada, Uruguay and 10 US states have gone further and passed laws that license the production and retail sale of cannabis, mostly by private companies, to adults for non-medical – sometimes referred to as recreational – purposes. With discussions about alternatives to cannabis prohibition becoming more common in some parts of the world, there is a growing interest in learning from the cannabis policy changes in the Americas.
To learn more about these new cannabis regimes and their consequences, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) commissioned a review of the changes governing recreational cannabis policies in the Americas and an overview of preliminary evaluations. Findings from this research are intended to inform discussions about the development of a framework for monitoring and evaluating policy developments related to cannabis regulatory reform.
The Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network (C-EHRN) published the first monitoring report covering certain areas of drug policy and practice. The purpose of this report is to enrich the information and knowledge base of harm reduction interventions in Europe from the viewpoint of civil society organisations, meaning organisations that directly work for, and with, people who use drugs. Correlation believe that this approach is a necessary, and useful, contribution to the development of drug policy in the region.
Correlation plan to repeat this reporting on an annual basis to identify developments and changes over time. A lot is being learned in this first pilot phase and adaptations to the focus and questions will be made, accordingly, as well as a recognition of certain limitations with regards to coverage and validation which we cannot easily overcome. Consequently, the information provided in this report is sometimes anecdotal and represents the situation in a particular city or region and informs us as to the experiences of a specific organisation in the field. Such ‘real life’ information can contribute significantly to an understanding of the advantages, barriers and challenges of drug policy.
Correlation will use the insights and information collected in this report within their advocate efforts to strengthen harm reduction policies in Europe and, hopefully, their partners and contributors will do the same in their environment at a regional and national level.
More than one hundred organisations and individuals from 35 European countries have contributed to the collection of data with an amazingly high response rate. All contributors deserve tanks for their great work and commitment. Without their engagement, this work would never have been undertaken at all.
TalkingDrugs, an online platforms dedicated to providing unique news and analysis on drug policy, harm reduction and related issues around the world, published an interactive map which provides an overview of decriminalisation models, offering insights into decriminalisation laws, their implementation and impact.
The criminalisation of people who use drugs compounds drug-related challenges and worsens health and welfare outcomes. The gold standard of decriminalisation is the removal of all punishment for drug use, and the availability and accessibility of evidence- and human rights-based harm reduction, health and social services on a voluntary basis.
Across the world, there is a growing number of jurisdictions where the possession of scheduled drugs for personal use has been decriminalised. Some form of decriminalisation has been adopted in 30 countries – with significant differences and levels of effectiveness. This interactive map provides an overview of these models, offering insights into decriminalisation laws, their implementation and impact. In some countries and federal states, this has been extended to the cultivation of cannabis for personal use or the sharing of substances where there is no financial gain (also known as ‘social sharing’).
The following elements are included in the map:
Threshold quantities used to determine whether the activity is decriminalised (if there are no thresholds other considerations used are outlined);
The agency responsible for determining the activity is decriminalised;
The activities that are decriminalised, and for which substances;
The applicable administrative / civil sanctions or whether no sanctions are applied.
In South East Europe, only Croatia adopted decriminalisation of possession a ‘small quantity’ of any drug. The decriminalisation of drug consumption and possession for personal use means that the person no longer has a criminal record, so the stigma associated with people who use and/or are dependent on drugs is reduced. The law also gives more flexible treatment options. Croatia’s model of decriminalisation is codified in the country’s laws through statutory reforms and was introduced in 2013.