The criminalization of people who use psychoactive substances in the Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia (CEECA) region, instead of maintenance of public health and safety, increases the financial and social burden on the states. For people who inject drugs, approximately 58% will experience incarceration in their life.
Incarceration costs 2 to 6 times more than treatment from health and social service groups. However, in almost all the countries in the CEECA region, due to de facto criminalization of people who use psychoactive substances, harm reduction and other health services are severely underfunded and depend on international donors. Guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that at least 40% of people who use opioids receive opioid substitution therapy (OST); however, most countries in the CEECA region barely reach 20%.
Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) is inviting activists from the community of people who use psychoactive substances, as well representatives from organizations, working in the drug policy and harm reduction field in CEECA region, to apply for the participation in the regional training on “Criminalization costs” and drug laws.
Aim of the training is to learn how to use EHRA developed materials “Criminalization costs” and drug laws in the advocacy work. More information about “Criminalization costs” is here: https://harmreductioneurasia.org/ru/criminalization-costs-2/, and more information about drug laws, you can find here: https://harmreductioneurasia.org/ru/drug-laws/.
During the training we will:
- present “Criminalization costs” and drug laws materials;
- together with participants discuss how it can be used practically in their work;
- provide a creative space for creating new statements followed by supporting arguments, which can be used in advocacy work, based on the pocket guide on “Criminalization costs”;
- discuss how drug laws differ in CEECA region countries and prepare general recommendations on what works / does not work.
Training is planned to be held on 29-30 September in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
While selecting participants for the workshop, the following will be taken into account:
- personal motivation of the participant;
- experience working towards changing drug laws and advocating for the harm reduction services funding;
- country (to ensure equal opportunities for participation from different countries in the region).
Deadline to submit application: 8 August, 2021
Submit your application here: https://forms.gle/9PbejPpojkuTtU2z8