Great activities in Montenegro for the “Support. Don’t Punish“ campaign

NGO Juventas coordinated activities of the “Support. Don’t Punish“ campaign in 2019 together with several other partner organisations from Montenegro. The campaign was focused on raising awareness about human rights of people who use drugs.

The campaign started on 17 June when a short video material was created, continued with social media and television campaign, open space events and lasted until 5 July with photography exhibition in the local gallery.

The video material, with supportive messages from people in institutions and CSO’s who support our work with people who use drugs, was created, with the support of  Institute for public Health, Medical Centre, NGO Cazas and Juventas Drop-in Centre for people who use and inject drugs.

#STV #Podrži #NeKažnjavaj

?Bez podrške osobama koje koriste droge, samo komplikujemo već tešku situaciju u kojoj se oni nalaze. Danas je droga lako dostupna, pa se borimo da se smanji ponuda, ali se isto tako borimo za kvalitet života svake osobe, koja je pogođena bolestima zavisnosti. #STV #Podrži #NeKažnjavaj ?

Gepostet von Nvo Juventas am Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2019

In Njegošev park, in the city centre of Podgorica, photographs were made for the exhibition, along with colleagues who work in Drop-in centre for people who use drugs, Juventas, NGO Link and clients who wanted to be part of exhibition.

“Stigma towards persons facing diseases of dependency is somewhat reduced, but still exists and it is important to take adequate steps compared to support, reducing damage caused by drug use and empower a person to deal with the dependency problem. It is assessed by the program of direct assistance for persons at risk of social exclusion in Juventas”, emphasized Marija Mijović, visiting national TV show Jutarnji program Dobro Jutro Crna Goro on the occasion of marking the global initiative.  The video material was presented during the program.

The exhibition of the photographs done by local activist was posted at the independence square in Podgorica, where campaign promotional materials were distributed and photo boot was set for people to take photos …

The photos taken during the campaign by professional photographer Marija Jovanović were exposed in the Concept Art Space gallery for a week.

You can see more photos following this link>>>

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:

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.

Issue of drug during the summer tourist season

The Ministry of health of Montenegro hosted the Regional Workshop on Drug Supply and Demand
Reduction During the Summer Tourist Season, organised by the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission. The Workshop was held in Podgorica on 7 and 8 July 2016.

The aim of the Workshop was to strengthen capacities of Police and Anti-Drugs Services in the Western Balkans and Turkey on drug supply and demand reduction during the summer tourist season, especially at large events such as music festivals. A report from the EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) on travel and drug use in Europe notes that certain travel destinations across Europe have a reputation of having a wide availability of a range of drugs; these include party locations, electronic music festivals and the nightlife scene on certain Mediterranean islands. This is very interesting now, when the festival tourism is the fastest growing tourist branch, especially in the Southeast Europe.
Participating countries included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and theFormer Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Guest speakers came from Belgium, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia. From the Montenegrin side, all for most active NGOs participated, including DPNSEE member organisations 4Life and Juventas and Cazas and Preporod. The Executive Director of DPNSEE participated for one day, sharing experiences and establishing contacts with a variety of participants.

The Workshop was an interesting platform for sharing of best practices and exchanging of knowledge with Experts from EU Member States on effective tools for reducing drug supply and demand. The thing which left a specific impression was the completely opposite positions: restrictive one of state agents (policy, anti-drug services, prosecutors) and pro-active one of the non-governmental organisations. Also, it is a pity that representatives from big festivals were not invited to share their experiences (“Sundance” being prepared at the time of the workshop).