Police and Drug Treatment Together

The Rome Consensus 2.0, together with Chicago Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities TASC. and The Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative PTACC, organise the side event “Police and Drug Treatment Together: the Global Emergence of Deflection as a Humanitarian Crime Reduction Approach to Drugs” during the 65th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

The event is designed to bring together CSOs, professionals, leaders and public authorities from across the world to explore ways to effectively combine humanitarian attitude in health, criminal justice, prevention and community responses to addiction problems. The aim of the event is to focus and share on a new emerging health-based practice called “Deflection”, which sits at the nexus of policing, drug treatment, housing, services, recovery, and local community.

Deflection leverages the hundreds of millions of contacts that police and law enforcement have globally with people who use drugs for personal use but might otherwise 1) be arrested or 2) not be arrested without any action taken to address their personal drug use that causes, often repeatedly, contact with police and law enforcement. Yet, regardless of which of the two options is applicable, the person would do better from engagement in community-based drug treatment, housing, services, and recovery at that very point-in-time encounter. In other words, Deflection is an early, preventative, “upstream” approach that seeks to prevent possible future criminal conduct, death, or unrelenting drug use by addressing the problems associated with drug use for the person, their family and children, and for the community itself.

The side event will be held on March 14th at 1:10 PM (CET). It is co-sponsored by:

  • Red Cross and Red Crescent Partnership on Substance Abuse IFRC, The Villa Maraini Foundation, Italian Red Cross (Italy)
  • Pompidou Group – Council of Europe
  • Knowmad Institut (El Salvador/Germany)
  • Section Commander for Substance Abuse Program of SAPS South Africa Police Services (South Africa).
  • MENAHRA Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Association (Lebanon)
  • DPNSEE – Drug Policy Network of South East Europe, HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje (North Macedonia)

Our colleague Nataša Boškova, Legal adviser at HOPS and Coalition “Margini”, will present the model of cooperation with the police and the development of the module for training on ethical conduct of the police toward people who use drugs.

Register here to join the event on Zoom:


Rome Consensus 2.0 is a Humanitarian Drug Policy alliance, a call from professionals to governments to make urgent moves towards health and human rights based approaches. The Humanitarian Drug Policy’s primary objective is to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity by fighting social, legal and cultural criminalization of people who use drugs.