On the occasion of the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), DPNSEE issued a press release underlining the importance of awareness and fighting stigma on overdose and presenting data about the issue worldwide and especially in Serbia. The release was published by the national Press agency Tanjug and several other media and portals.
In Montenegro, NGO Juventas also issued a press release (supported by the NGO 4 Life) and held a press conference where Marija Mijović, coordinator of Programme of direct assistance to the people in risk of social exclusion presented situation in the country. A movie “Overdose”, directed by Mladen Vujović, outreach worker at the Drop-in Centre of NGO Juventas, Montenegro in cooperation with the Hungarian Drug reporters, was screened at the Green Montenegro International Film Festval.
Our colleagues from the Romanian Harm Reduction Network created a special video for this year’s IOAD campaign. Have a look at “Voices of the drug users. Episode 1”
Association AREAL and AREALTRIBE group from Slovenia organized a workshop dedicated to the International overdose awareness day on 1 September 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Participants were educated how to respond if an individual finds himself or herself in that position.
Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose and the fact is, overdose is an increasing global problem. Spreading the message that the tragedy of overdose and injury is preventable, International Overdose Awareness Day raise awareness of overdose and reduces the stigma associated with the drug-related death. Also, the day of awareness is providing support to families and loved ones of overdose victims, so that no one is forgotten.
The second partners meeting of the project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe” in 2018 was held on 7 of June in Thessaloniki. Greece.
The discussion of the meeting was oriented around the topics that included reporting from the partner organisation about the implementation of the Action plan 2018 and partners activities. This was of special importance since this is the last year of the project implementation.
The partners used the opportunity to discuss the situation of drug policy and harm reduction in their respective countries, as well as development over the course of last 4 years when the project was implemented. The project partners also internally evaluated the project activities so far and discussed about the way forward regarding the content and the funding of the future actions to be undertaken.
The Annual Regional Conference in South East Europe was organised in Thessaloniki from 8 to 10 June 2017. The conference aimed to bring together NGOs, policy makers and researchers active in the drugs field in the region of South East Europe, in order to discuss drug policy developments and trends, exchange experiences and best practices in the region, Europe and the United Nations.
The conference is part of the regional project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, supported financially by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations. The organiser was Diogenis, Drug Policy Dialogue.
The Conference agenda included a large number of interesting issues:
The Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and drug policy. Priority issues, the role of UN agencies, expected commitments from the member states and role of NGOs. Presenter was Jo Dedeyne-Amann, Chief Secretariat to the Governing Bodies, Division for Treaty Affairs, UNODC. Nikos Stergiou, Communication and public relations Officer, Diogenis, presented experience of two local meetings.
Initiatives undertaken in the countries of our region related to implementation of the outcomes of the UNGASS and the role of NGOs. National drug coordinators presented work in their countries: drug co-ordinators: Sorin Oprea (Romania), Milan Pekić (Serbia), Željko Petković (Croatia) and Manina Terzidou, head of the Greek Monitoring Centre for Drugs (EKTEPN) (Greece)
Women and Drugs. Facts and Special Characteristics for Girls and Women who use drugs was the presentation from Meni Malliori, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Athens, while Georgia Aslanidou, Psychologist, OKANA Thessaloniki presented about Addicted mothers and the journey of therapy
Drugs and internet: experiences, opportunities and concerns in the use of online counselling tools presented by Ilias Paraskevopoulos, Consultant for addictions at KETHEA ITHAKI
The Harm reduction project in South East Europe. Developments and next steps presented by Sofia Galinaki, Advocacy Officer, Diogenis and Peers’ involvement in harm reduction, with introduction from Christos Anastasiou, Peer Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances (PENUPS).
Irena Molnar and Bojan Arsenijević from the NGO Re Generation, Serbia provided valuable insight into Changing culture in drug use including new psychoactive substances
Developments in the discussion about cannabis policy in countries of SEE
Representatives from 14 DPNSEE member organisations, 3 Board members and all 5 Staff were at the Conference. We presented the Network, strategic priorities and plans for the future. Our two volunteers talked about their work on the Glossary and Resource Pool.
The Conference was a very good opportunity to share and learn about interesting ideas and make plans for the future.
Representatives of all 6 partners in the EU funded project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe” met in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 8 June 2017.
Partners adopted the Minutes of the Project Partners Skype meeting held on Friday 10 February 2017 with some additions proposed by DPNSEE. Diogenis informed about successful audit for 2016 and announced the EC initiated Audit of the Financial report 2015.
Partner organisations presented their short reports about the implementation of the Action plan 2017. Reports from visits to Croatia (written) and Bulgaria (oral, the visit happened just before the meeting) were received, with the comment that more information are needed about the work of civil society organisations. The visit to Slovenia is planned for September.
Agreements were made for preparations of the interim report and action plan 2018 (if possible, they will be done on partners meeting at the end of August/beginning of September). Partners are invited to send their proposals by 20 July.