Delegation of the Drug Policy Network South East Europe with Saša Mijović, Board member, and Milutin Milošević, Executive Director, visited Bosnia Herzegovina from 3 to 6 October 2016. It was fourth in the serial of visits aimed to present DPNSEE to the society, build strong relationships with the authorities, institutions and services and explore opportunities for partnerships.
Tuzla Canton was the first stop where the delegation visited Psychiatric Clinic of the University Clinical Centre. Dr Izudin Hasanović and Dr Adnan Kuldija informed us about how suboxone was introduced and is used now. Visit to the Therapeutic Community CROPS nearby Smoluća was the opportunity to get to know their methods of work.
Our member organisation from Banja Luka “Viktorija” prepared a very intense program of visits to authorities and institutions in the Republic of Srpska. A committed team of the Methadone centre and Psychiatric Clinic of Banja Luka Clinic Centre offered a warm welcome and a lot of information about their work, including experiences they gained during the training in Israel. In Tunjice prison, just outside Banja Luka, “Viktorija” is involved in activities supporting drug users. The main message from the meeting with the prison management was that post-penalty treatment is missing to prevent recidivism.
Meeting with the representatives of the Commission for the Prevention
of Drug Abuse of the Republic of Srpska
The most interesting meeting was with the representatives of the Commission for the Prevention of Drug Abuse of the Republic of Srpska. The Committee works very efficient as a multi-sectorial team which not only meets, talks and decides but also organises activities and campaigns.
The day in Sarajevo was a good opportunity to meet with the new DPNSEE member organisation PROI. A friendly exchange generated some interesting ideas about the situation with drugs and emerging trends, especially in young population.
Friendly welcome in PROI
Meetings in the Ministry of Security and the Institute for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction in the Canton of Sarajevo provided valuable information about state respond to the issue of drugs. The Institute just recently moved to new premises which are ensuring good conditions for both customers and staff.
The Institute for the Prevention of addictions of the Zenica Doboj Canton may be taken as a role model of how work on supporting drug users (and other addicts) can be efficient and effective. They managed to both be an expert and comprehensive institution and to decentralise their work to cover large area and be available for those in need. They also support people in custody which was proved during the visit to the Zenica Prison.
Methadone centre in the Institute for the Prevention of addictions of the Zenica Doboj Canton
Welcome in Margina, the Network member organisation, ensured the delegation that their commitment is still strong and services are organised, even though the sustainability is jeopardised.
For the end of the visit, the delegation had a pleasure to participate in the meeting of the Country Coordinating Mechanism for Global Fund project. Some good news on additional funding and ideas for possible regional project were good result of this meeting.
CCM meeting in Teslić
The visit was really good opportunity to learn about a variety of issues related to drug policy in this complex and segmented country.