Slovenian conference on addiction treatment

Our colleagues from the South Eastern European Adriatic Addiction Treatment Network organised the 11th Slovenian conference on addiction treatment. The Conference also included the 9th National Symposium “Hepatitis C virus infection and drug users”.

The conference was held in Ljubljana on 16 and 17 May 2024. Doctors and other involved medical staff had participated.

The conference agenda included a variety of interesting issues. A significant section was dedicated to treatment of children and adolescents using drugs.

During the session on international activities, DPNSEE Executive Director presented work of the Network, situation with harm reduction in the region, importance of civil society involvement and news from the Civil Society Forum on Drugs.

Evaluation of the National Strategy for Drugs

Our member organisation HOPS – Options for a healthy life Skopje published the “Evaluation of the National Strategy for Drugs 2021-2025 and the Action Plan for Drugs 2021-2023 of the Republic of North Macedonia“.

The purpose of this evaluation was:

  • To measure the relevance of the goals of the Strategy for Drugs 2021-2025 and the Action Plan for Drugs 2021-2023 in relation to the situation with the drug problem in North Macedonia;
  • To measure the impact of the Drug Strategy 2021 – 2025 and the Drug Action Plan 2021 – 2023 in relation to the national response to the drug problem;
  • To determine the degree of implementation of the measures from the Action Plan for Drugs 2021-2023,
  • To detect the obstacles and barriers that appeared in the implementation of the action plans, but also to determine the support systems or resources in the implementation of the measures from the action plans;
  • To define directions and priorities that should be observed in creating the new Action Plan for drugs 2024-2025.

This evaluation was carried out and published within the framework of the project “Improvement of the National Drug Policy in the Republic of North Macedonia” coordinated by HOPS and supported by the regional project SMART Balkans – Civil Society for a Connected Western Balkans implemented by the Center for the Promotion of Civil society (Centar za promeno členni društva – CPCD), by the Center for Research and Policy Making (CIKP) and by the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway.

The Evaluation is available (in Macedonian) following this link>>>.

 

Know your options

Kralji ulice (Kings of the road) published a short informative brochure that presents addicts and/or their relatives with all the treatment options for opioid addiction in Slovenia.

The brochure was created in professional collaboration with Andrej Kastelic, Ph.D. med., spec. psych., the head of the National Centre for Treatment of Drug Addiction in Ljubljana.

It is available in 22 addiction treatment and prevention centers in Slovenia.

 

The Pink House is at risk!

Our colleagues from member organisation Center for Humanitarian Policy Foundation issued an alarm. Here it is, google-translated from Bulgarian.

Dear friends, with great regret I have to ask you for financial help again!

The Pink House has lived at its address for exactly 5 years. During that time, we helped 864 individuals who suffer from drug addiction. They are all homeless or living in extreme poverty, they all have almost no support in their daily lives. Apart from us. Except for the pink house.

At the end of February, we received notice of leaving from the landlords of the room. Despite the huge efforts made by the people of the Serdika district of the Capital Municipality, it was impossible to find a house that met our needs. All existing buildings are self-destructive, dangerous and impossible to repair on a budget.

Fortunately, after Evgenia Arnaudova from Serdika district made extraordinary efforts, she managed to find a plot on which we can place movable structures.

The cost of the four containers we need, together with the site, the field clearing and its fencing, will cost nearly 100,000 lv. which we (of course) do not have.

We will not give up, we will fight to the max to keep the only such place in Bulgaria! It’s humiliating enough that it’s only one…

For us to succeed again depends on your support. Give us a hand!

 

The organization’s bank account is:

Center for Humanitarian Policy Foundation

BG25UNCR70001523230099

UNCRBGSF / Bulbank

Foundation: Donation to the Pink House

PayPal: office@centerforhumanepolicy.org

DMS PINK HOUSE at number 17 777

(In the comments under this status, we will release our iban and PayPal accounts separately for easier copying over the phone)

 

These 864 people are us:

  • visited 34,304 times,
  • they have been fed for free 48 026 times,
  • they received decent clothes 3859 times,
  • they took hygiene materials (soap, brush and toothpaste, dressings) 2818 times,
  • 1184 times they came to wash the little clothes they have to look normal,
  • 1750 have received medical supplies and bandages to take care of their health,
  • 2497 were consulted on all topics related to their existence,
  • 43 people paid their health insurances and began treatment for Hepatitis C.

Just in the last few months, over a hundred people have gone to the doctor and received quality care for the first time, and on the ground we met over 468 people. In the last ten business days, we have tested for HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatiti B and Syphilis 98 people…

Please, help!

 

Drug consumption rooms are coming to Slovenia

After decades of advocacy by civil society, Slovenia finally approved the opening of the first drug consumption room in the country. In 2023, the Ministry of Health finally approved the opening of a supervised consumption room for two organizations – Stigma and Šent Nova Gorica. The NGO Šent Nova Gorica will open a supervised consumption room for sniffing, smoking, and injecting. Stigma plans to facilitate sniffing in the drop-in centre.

On this occasion Rights Reporter Foundation interviewed Katja Kranjc from the NGO Stigma.

The interview on this and other interesting topics of the Slovenian drug policy is available following this link>>>.

 

By youth for youth

The safety of young people in the nightlife, a topic of extreme importance for most young people, is often neglected. NGO Re Generacija, which has been putting this topic in the focus of its projects and programs aimed at a systemic approach to this topic for many years, invites to the event to promote the report on the results of the research and the Handbook for participation in public policies for organizations working with youth involved in nightlife and marginalized youth.

The event will be held on 25 January 2024 at the premises of the Office of Combating drugs, Palata Srbija, starting at 10:00. The event is organized with project partners Terra from Croatia and HOPS from North Macedonia and with the support of DPNSEE.

More about the event is available (in Serbian) following this link>>>.

 

Another year of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign

The Drug Policy Network South East Europe coordinates activities of the campaign in South East Europe around the Global Day of Action 26 June – which is also the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The campaign took to the streets, social networks, parliaments and many more to bring collective message to life in at least 294 cities of 94 countries – an incredible feat that we should all be proud of!

The Support. Don’t Punish 2023 campaign was held in all countries of South East Europe. It had

In 2023, we also participated in activities of the #DrugDecrimmonth to contribute to fighting stigmatisation and criminalisation of people who use drugs.

The DPNSEE staff collected and published articles alongside with photos of the involved organisations in the Network during the campaign on Internet page www.dpnsee.org and social media FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

The report from the campaign is available following this link>>>.

      

Positive Voice naimed “European Citizen of the Year”

The European Parliament declared the Greek Association of people living with HIV/AIDS Positive Voice 2023 “European Citizen of the Year” for the Ref Checkpoint initiative, by decision of the Chancellery of the European Citizen Award.

The European Citizen’s Prize was established by the European Parliament in 2008 and is a reward for outstanding achievements, activities or actions of citizens and organizations that promote European values: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights rights.

Ref Checkpoint is a prevention and sexual health center for refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in Athens and provides free information, counseling on sexual health issues in the native language of the beneficiaries (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Urdu or Farsi), anonymous testing for HIV and viral hepatitis, and linking the beneficiaries with the National Health System or with other agencies and services.

The idea of ​​this initiative, which began in 2022 with the support and assistance of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Europe and the Municipality of Athens, arose from the identification of the significant obstacles faced by mobile populations in their access to health services and the lack of modern, inclusive sexual health information materials.

Ref Checkpoint, adapted to the needs of this community and implemented by the people of the target community themselves, was and is intended to provide access to targeted, inclusive sexual health services without stigma and discrimination.

We congratulate our colleagues from Positive Voice for this great achievemtn and recognition of their work.

President of Montenegro supported LGBTI community

Jakov Milatović, newly elected President of Montenegro, met on 28 June 2023 with representatives of the LGBTI community and organisations that support them on the occasion of International Day and Pride Month. That was an opportunity to gain insight into the challenges these communities face.

Mr. Milatović clearly stated that Montenegro is a country of equal rights for every citizen and that there shouldn’t be any kind of discrimination. To achieve that, institutional and legal support have to be ensured for every person.

Our colleagues from Juventas, Queer Montenegro, and Stana were among those who met with the President and presented their work.

Support to unaccompanied and separated refugee children

Montenegro is sharing the same challenges as the rest of Western Balkan countries. Between January and December 2022, Montenegro registered 8,298 arrivals, including 463 children (285 boys, 178 girls) mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, and Bangladesh. This presented an increase of 161 % compared to arrivals in 2021. In addition, in 2022, after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, around 95 000 Ukrainian citizens entered Montenegro (8047 applied for temporary protection).

Our member organisation Juventas published the “Guide on referral system/social services delivery for UASC in Montenegro”. This practical tool is of use for those who work with unaccompanied or separated child, citizen of a third country, or a stateless person under the age of 18, who entered Montenegro unaccompanied by an adult who takes care of him or remained unaccompanied after entering Montenegro, until placed under guardianship in accordance with the regulations of Montenegro.

The Guide will be a multipliable model for the efficient provision of social services to the UASC to support the establishment of a protection-sensitive migration management system in the target countries. It will serve to assist the UASC who approached our services and ensure that the assistance in service provision is provided in a timely and professional manner.

This document is prepared within the project “Security for Human Beings and Borders – Combating Smuggling of Migrants in the Western Balkans”, financed by the Group 484 through the EU project and implemented by the Nisma për Ndryshim Shoqëror – ARSIS (Albania) and NGO Juventas (Montenegro).

The Guide is available following this link>>>.