Successful campaign in Montenegro

On the 22nd of June, NGO Juventas and NGO 4Life, announced the campaign by photographing in front of the city assembly with transparents – symbolic because it is the home of those who make decisions in this country. On this occasion, press releases were issued.

On the 26th of June 2018, NGO Juventas, along with Montenegrin Harm Reduction Network, marked the campaign night in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, at the venue “Koncept Art Space”.

The public tribune was held and people speaking were members of NGO Link, coordinator of Harm reduction program for PWID/SW from NGO Juventas Marija Milić and psychologist from the Institute of Public Health, Tatijana Đurišić Mandić. The tribune targeted youth and new psychoactive substances, as well as the parents and public in general, which are in Montenegro uneducated and not willing to find out ways to help their children/family members/community members in need.

The tribune was very productive as every person present were involved in the discussion, giving us as facilitators of excellent inputs for the future planning of activities with the youth.

After the tribune, documentary movie about harm reduction in Montenegro was played for the first time in public, as well as documentaries from region, all filmed by Drugreporter from Hungary.

The venue where the event was held is near the Government building, and we wanted to draw the attention by placing a big “Support. Don’t Punish” sign on venue’s window.

The reason why we have held an event like this – we wanted to attract as many people from the community, to hear our stories, to hear what are we fighting with and to realize that people who use drugs have voices too.

On 27 June, the last activity was held and included setting up an information stand at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Montenegro.

The night of the campaign was preceded by the opening of Facebook page “Support. Don’t Punish. Mne”, organization of venue, the engagement of photographers for the production of photographs for labels, posters and programs for the campaign, printing of prepared material, engagement of participants, refreshments and transportation.

Media coverage:

Full steam campaign in Montenegro

Our member organisation Juventas, in partnership with Montenegrin Harm Reduction Network LINK, already organised an array of activities in scope of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign

A Facebook page “Support. Don’t punish. MNE” is created and event is shared on Facebook. Media were informed about the campaign and invitations to attend have been sent.

A venue for the street movie projection is reserved. Refreshments and other equipment secured!

Photographer is hired for making photos for stickers and posters for SDP campaign. The first photo session has finished; photos for stickers and posters prepared and sent for printing. An additional photo session is scheduled for Friday 22 at 12.:00 AM in front of the Support. Don’t Punish mural painted last year.

Looks like all is in order and everyone looking forward to continue in the same good spirit.

 

Long list of activities in the Support. Don’t Punish campaign in South East Europe

On the occasion of the 26 June, The United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Global Day of Action of the Support. Don’t Punish Campaign is organised in more than 150 cities in the world. The Drug Policy Network South East Europe this year again coordinates activities of the campaign in South East Europe, where 10 of our member organizations are pushing actions in 9 countries and 11 cities.

To the launch the campaign, DPNSEE will organise “Kick-off event” in the EU Info Centre in Belgrade, Kralja Milana 7, on 21 June 2018 at 12:00. Representatives of the Network will present the current situation in the countries of South East Europe. To contribute to the campaign, DPNSEE will also present the baseline research on “Documenting Drug Related Cases of Discrimination”, an activity within the project “Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in South-East Europe and promote drug policy based on respect for human rights and public health”. Our guests will be Danilo Ćurčić from the A11 – Initiative for economic and social rights and Dr Hajrija Mujović, Vice -chair of the Association of Lawyers for Medical and Health Law of Serbia – SUPRAM.

Representatives of the Network will as well present the activities of the Network members in the countries of the region.

In Albania, on the 26th of June, Aksion Plus will organize awareness activities in two cities, Tirana and Durres. The activities will include sharing leaflets and information especially toyoung people. In their Opioid Substitution Therapy centres, they will organize small group discussions, outreach information, leaflets distribution, one to one conversations and counselling to raise their awareness on how to better protect their rights, as well as to provide referrals to other institutions in case they face violations from police, courts and law enforcement agencies. During campaign clients will be strongly encouraged and supported to fight for their rights and report to the organisation or to the People’s Advocate when they face violence or stigma, and messages of the campaign will be also communicated to the Government officials.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, organization Margina will organize events in city of Tuzla. That will include promotional activities, starting the campaign on 11th of June by screening documentary film “I want to wake up” with aim to point out the problem of education of young people and reducing stigma and discrimination against drug users. Other activities planned are Public Debate and Press Conference “CANTONAL INSTITUTION FOR DISEASES” – Why do we not have it? as introductory event to the entire day of action on 26th of June, that will also be presented through street action in city of Tuzla. In this event, following documents will be presented: Bosnia and Herzegovina National Drug Strategy 2018 – 2023, Policy to reduce drug use damage in the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina, Decisions of the Government and the Tuzla Canton Assembly on the establishment of the “Institute for Addiction of the Tuzla Canton”. The Association Margina is dedicating this day, as well as other days of the year, to people who have adopted this “lifestyle” with the aim of bringing the wider community closer to the addicted population and so additionally contribute to the reduction of stigma and discrimination.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action:  https://www.facebook.com/events/407051669794756/

In Bulgaria, organization Initiative for Health Foundation will write and promote article, telling the story about the campaign worldwide and its implementation in Bulgaria in the last years. The article will be written by a professional journalist and popularized mostly in NGO platforms and other online channels. The organization will also develop a frame for a Facebook profile image and dissemination on social media consecutive counting of dissemination

To activate your facebook frame in the Bulgarian language go HERE

In Croatia, Organisation Terra will organise the Forum theatre performance on the problems of a former addict who is hindering discrimination due to his past. The play will be organised on the 26th of June, to mark the International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. The theatre will be played in the city of Rijeka, Croatia.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2087957514813170/

 

In Greece, in Athens, the action will be implemented by the NGOs Platform for Psychoactive Substances. This platform is an unofficial initiative for joint action among organizations working in the area of drug policy and psychoactive substances, currently consisting of the following organizations: Centre for Life, Diogenis, Peers Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances, Positive Voice, Praksis, Prometheus and Steps. This year the Greek NGO Platform for psychoactive substances will undertake the organization and implementation of the campaign in Greece.

They are organising an event on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 7 pm, at the Athens Municipal Cellular Market (42, Fokionos Negris str) as an open dialogue regarding: current public health and drug policies applied in addressing the issue of psychoactive substances, the way users are being treated by the state and society, the issue of combating crime that accompanies drug use by law enforcement, and finally the removal of unjustified social stereotypes at the expense of PWUD, the
importance for the provision of substantial support, as well as the need for equal, meaningful and substantial participation of users community in procedures totally concerning them.
The event will be followed by participation of Mrs. Katerina Konidari, psychologist, social researcher, and writer, who will talk about the representation of addiction treatment on art; Mr. Michalis Lolis, Police Lieutenant of the A’ (First) Police Department for Combating Racist Violence, who will communicate his experience on human rights’ issues and the protection of people with different identities and Mr. Yannis Kissas, representative of the Peer Network of Users  psychoactive Substances, who will specifically refer to the Network’s proposals for supportive policies rather than the punishment of drug users. The discussion will be co-chaired and coordinated by Mr. Christos Anastasiou, member of the Peer Network of Users Psychoactive Substances.

You can find the full press release in English HERE  or on Greek HERE

To get involved:

Like their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/supportdontpunishGreece/

Join their facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/179003616107047/

Follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/support.dont.punish_greece_/

In Macedonia, organisation HOPS will to focus on recreational drug use, harm reduction and human rights. The central event will be organized in Skopje, as a public debate/panel on the health and legal aspects of recreational drug use and harm reduction. Activists, experts, decisions and opinion makers will take part in the debate, which will also be streamed online. In addition, IEC materials will be produced containing information on practices for reducing harms from recreational drug use, as well as personal rights. The 3 different leaflets will be promoted during the public debate and will be later distributed during the field activities at music events. All activities will be supported by a social media campaign aimed to inform a wider audience on harm reduction practices and raise public awareness about human rights.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1632706273514505/

 

In Montenegro, organisations Juventas and Link will organize several activities such as Street movie projection nights, on the 26th of June and screen a documentary by Drugreporter that would be premiered during the campaign. The documentary is following the work of our two NGOs, talking about the implementation of the Harm Reduction Program in Montenegro, most of all covering the story of the work and struggles of the Drop in centres for people who use drug and sex workers and our outreach work. Documentary is also talking about the challenges that NGO Juventas and NGO Link face in daily work with clients and in the partnering institutions. In addition to this documentary, other documentary films of the NGO’s that are conducting Harm Reduction program in the region are planned to be screened, as well as some cult films that correspond to the topic.

During the campaign the project team will set up an information stand at one of the University of Montenegro’s Faculty in order to influence on young people, share with them message of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign, as well as information about the harm reduction program itself and the services provided by NGOs Juventas and Link. NGOs will distribute information to media and ensure national media coverage.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action: https://www.facebook.com/events/251897252232425/

 

In Romania, this year Romanian Harm Reduction Network alongside with other two member organisations of DPNSEE,  ARAS and ALIAT will organize a series of activities to mark the Global Day of Action and participate in the campaign. They vary from online consultations with people who use drugs on changes to be made to the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use, using iterative-designed videos online to presents law 143/2000 and others laws on drugs in Europe. They will also organize a consultation meeting with representatives of NGOs providing services (prevention, harm reduction, treatment) for people who use drugs on the changes to be made to the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use, organize a “lawkathon” (working session) with lawyers from LGBT, human rights, Roma, education, feminist and/or housing NGOs to formulate the amendments to the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use, according to the proposals made by people who use drugs and NGOs providing services during the consultations, organize a round-table/meeting with representatives from various ministries on the proposal to amend the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use. Last but not least there will be organized flashmob/short event at the Parliament building to raise awareness on the proposal to amend the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use.

In addition to the activities listed above, they are planning on connecting a series of other events financed through private sources to raise awareness on stigma associated with substance use and addiction, under the same harm reduction / Support. Don’t Punish umbrella.

The facebook event to join the action is: https://www.facebook.com/events/179830952686479/

 

In Serbia, NGO Prevent will implement action Support. Don’t Punish for the fourth time in Novi Sad. Campaign will start on 20th June when the media were informed about the action. Prevent will spread information through social networks and during campaign reach over 30 thousand people in this way. Prevent also announced the competition for the best short video on the topic Support. Don’t. Punish which will be the official promo video of their Association for participation in a global campaign marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 26th of June.

To follow up their camapaign and street action find more information on their facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/preventns/

 

NGO Re Generation, together with Drugstore Belgrade, announcing the Global Day of action within the campaign Support. Don’t Punish, are organizing an event that will start the cooperation of this club and this organization in order to create safer nightlife, which is the first of this kind in Serbia. After recent events in Europe that have been linked to drug policy and nightlife, NGO Re Generation and Drugstore decided to launch higher-level cooperation within the framework of the Global Day of Action, in order to influence the change of awareness and the change in drug policies in general. Joining the campaign, Re Generation and Drugstore want to express sincere concern and start the program, present the activities within the cooperation with which they start their own struggle for safer, better quality and better night environment that we are all part of!

Join their event and support the healthy nightlife settings:  https://www.facebook.com/events/278127766064145/

 

RYCO Open Call for projects

Six countries of Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia founded the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) in July 2016 aiming to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in the region through youth exchange programs.

RYCO’s main objectives are:

  • Exchange and mobility: Increased mobility and exchange of young people and their key workers in the Western Balkans, which is fully representative of the diversity of the Western Balkan region.
  • Sectorial development: Greater competence among voluntary and/or professionals/youth workers accompanying young people in youth, education, sport, culture activities, dealing with reconciliation, intercultural learning and other regional topics through exchange and mobility.

RYCO launched its first Open Call for project proposals of civil society organizations and high schools in the field of promoting reconciliation in the region through increasing youth mobility, cooperation and activism. RYCO wants to empower youth for setting the road to better cooperation in the Western Balkans and ensure further progress towards European integration of the region.

The overall financial envelope for this call is EUR 900, 000. Requested budget should be between 10.000 and 35.000 Euros. Deadline for applications is 15 November 2017.

Full information about the Call is available from the RYCO webpage following this LINK>>>

Info sessions are organised in each of the Western Balkans countries. You can find the schedule of the sessions following this LINK>>>

Treatment Systems in Prisons in Eastern and Southeastern Europe

Pompidou Group – Council of Europe Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs, published a new publication “Drug Treatment Systems in Prisons in Eastern and Southeastern Europe”. The publication sheds light into the situation of drug users among criminal justice populations and corresponding health care responses in ten countries in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Prisons differ across different countries, as do prisoner populations. In some of the countries in the study there is an almost complete unavailability of effective drug dependence treatment (e.g. Opiate Agonist Treatment), or the potential of these treatment has not been exploited yet to its full. But also models of good practice exist in a few of the researched countries.

The publication is a product of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe project “Improving Drug Treatment Systems in prisons” which was financed by Luxembourg.

DPNSEE Chairperson Tijana Žegura and Secretary of the Board Denis Dedajić contributed to the publication.

Those interested in downloading the publication should follow this LINK>>>

Good results of the „Support. Don’t Punish” campaign in Montenegro

NGO Juventas, together with NGOs 4 Life and Montenegrin High School Students Union, implemented “Support don’t punish” campaign for the third time in Montenegro. This year campaign was dedicated to the burning issues in the country:

  • Lack of sustainable support to Harm Reduction services,
  • Lack of treatment for underage people who use drugs,
  • Youth and drug use.

NGO Juventas and NGO 4 Life made a public statement on the 26 June, in which they requested urgent enabling on:

  1. Provision of free of charge residence in the Public institution for accommodation, rehabilitation and re-socialization of drug users for all persons in need of this treatment.
  2. Provision of payment of treatment costs to the Public Institution for accommodation, rehabilitation and re-socialization of Persons who use drugs who are members of families already been entitled to social protection benefits.
  3. Introduction of Non-Interferon Therapy for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Viral Infection and Issuance of Non-Interferon Therapy Generic Medication Purchase Permission.

 

At the other hand, NGO Juventas in partnership with Montenegrin Union of High school Students implemented online survey among young people in Montenegro from 16th to 26th June. 590 persons from most of municipalities of Montenegro, younger than 30 participated in survey, which gave an overview on the state of Youth and drugs in our country. 1/3 of respondents were underage.

After public presentation of survey results, Public Debate on the topic of “Legalisation of marihuana in Montenegro – Pros and Contras” was organised in Youth Centre of Podgorica and team of “Slobodan Škerovic” High school Pro and team of Political Science Faculty Contra.

At the end, a short video form was created in order to rise questions on the state of people who use drugs and available health and social care support in Montenegro, which was seen by 7800 people.

At the other hand, Juventas supported activities of NGO Link, first association of persons who use drugs in Montenegro during “Self-Support, don’t punish Us” campaign, during which a public statement on stigma and discrimination as one of main problems of people who use/inject drugs was made.

In order to improve the quality of life of drug addicts, but also to influence positive changes in our community, participating organisations proposed a series of measures:

  1. Establishment of the Clinic for the treatment of drug addiction and strengthening the role of the psychiatrists and the personal doctor in the treatment of this disease in all health centres in Montenegro.
  2. Increase the capacity of substitution programs in health canters, in particular in Podgorica, to reduce existing waiting lists for starting treatment in the capitol.
  3. Introduce free distribution of Naloxone
  4. Enabling conditions for adequate treatment of persons who use drugs within the Institution for Execution of Criminal Sanctions
  5. Opening the safe injection room

 

Juventas supported implementation of drug-addicted persons activity related to painting „Support. Don’t Punish” logo in the center of Podgorica.

The main result of this year „Support don’t punish” campaign in Montenegro is decision of Ministry of Health to support development of substitution treatment in Podgorica and ensure opening another centre of this kind in 2018. The latest. NGO Juventas succeeded to make this agreement, just at the end of July, after whole month of very demanding negotiations.

Adriatic Drug Addiction Treatment Conference and Symposium on Addictive Behaviours

The South Eastern European Adriatic Addiction Treatment Network invites you to come to Budva, Montenegro‚, from 12 to 14 October 2017, to celebrate the 8th Adriatic Drug Addiction Treatment Conference and the 16th SEEA Symposium on Addictive Behaviours and to be a part of the premier addiction treatment conference in the region.

In the last few years SEEAnet has organised joint international conferences with Global Addiction Association and numerous other events in the region.  They have been included in developing treatment programmes and trainings in Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe. Knowledge and experience from SEEAnet region have been so shared internationally. Addictions continue to remain in the front of medicine and other sciences and practices as the reaction to new challenges in this field in our changing world.

The main conference topics are treatment of drug users with comorbidities and cooperation with drug prevention, harm reduction, treatment and rehabilitation programs, specially psychiatric but not at all excluding other medical, social, educational, law enforcement … services and NGOs in the region, specially Montenegro, treatment of people who use new psychoactive substances, treatment of Hepatitis C, different praxis trough the region, treatment in prisons and use of medical cannabinoides.

The registration is open and organisers are now accepting abstracts submissions on all topics of the addictions keeping registration fees on 2009 levels when the conference had been already in beautiful Budva and where you had wanted to return again.

More about the Conference is available from the SEEAnet website HERE>>>

 

A good insight in the Montenegrin drug policy situation

160701 Visit to Montenegro photo 3
Distribution of methadone in the Methadone centre Podgorica

Representatives of the Drug policy network South East Europe visited Montenegro from 28 June to 1 July 2016. The delegation included Denis Dedajić, member of the Board, Milutin Milošević, Executive Director and representatives of two local member organisations Tijana Žegura from Juventas and Saša Mijović from NGO 4 Life.

Purpose of the visit was to present DPNSEE to the Montenegrin society and build strong relationships with the authorities, institutions and services. Aims included establishing contacts and exploring possibilities for cooperation with authorities and various institutions, understanding Montenegrin model of functioning of structures for participation of civil society in decision making and identifying models for improvement, supporting member organisations in their work and contacts with authorities, institutions and services, issue of supporting (young) people on festivals and in clubbing and meetings with NGOs, especially potential new members of the Network.

The delegation held a large number of meetings including authorities and institutions: Minister for Labour and Social Wellfare, National Committee for Drugs, Public Health Institute, Sektor za suzbijanje krijumčarenja droga u Upravi policije (drug abuse prevention department in the Ministry of interior), KPZ Spuž (largest state prison), Special psychiatric hospital Dobrota, Metadonski program održavanja opijatskih zavisnika (methadone centre), Terapijska zajednica Kakaricka gora (therapeutic community), Kamp raseljenih lica sa Kosova na Koniku (Kosovo refugees centre). Besides our member organisations, good and constructive meetings were held with NGOs including Cazas, Preporod and Narcotics Anonymous.

The most positive impression from the visit is that most of the authorities and institution value very high the work of the NGOs and underline that they are the ones who have a direct contact with drug users which is an excellent channel for accessing them. The most challenging is that many actors in the field of drugs are working hard but that there is no efficient system that should coordinate their efforts in an effective way.

Featured Photo: Meeting with Mr. Boris Marić, Minister for Labour and Social Wellfare

Policy paper on reduction of drug related harm in Montenegro

Στιγμιότυπο 2016-07-06, 10.48.16 π.μ.
Publication on harm reduction  “Policy paper on reduction of drug related harm in Montenegro”, one of products of project Harm Reduction works. Fund it in Montenegro!  implemented by Montenegrin Harm Reduction Network Link, with support of NGO Juventas.
Project was implemented within Eurasian Harm Reduction Network Small Programs Grant, with financial support of Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund.