Judy Chang, Chief exec from INPUD writes about feminism and women who use drugs in this important piece, as Narcofeminism edges ever forward, making waves and treading new ground…“In a marketplace of experiences, the privileged inevitably have more platforms from which to narrate, and the marginalised are often spoken for within agendas which are not their own.”
Alison Phipps 2016, p. 5-6, Sussex University
I am a feminist. I am a woman who uses drugs. Up until recently, these identities have been mutually exclusive, having rarely been held together in the same conceptual space.
Only now are the links between drug policy, feminism and drug use beginning to be drawn. Feminism, I took to early on, as any woman who questioned dominant paradigms, interrogated inequities in political and social life and was sceptical of the ways gendered norms condition how we speak, act, behave and interact with one another.
EuroNPUD presents and attends at the European Harm Reduction Network’s Conference.
Recently, peers from all over europe descended on the European Harm Reduction Conference in Bucharest and gave a fabulous, captivating and informed response to where we are today in Europe, what peers and peer groups are doing to bring about change to our inhumane system of prohibition. Many inspiring peers gave really terrific presentations, heading panels and discussions, educating and informing. It really was a great few days. Women who use drugs shone so brightly as they discussed their work and ideas, and a new term was coined by our amazing ENPUD colleague, Olga Belyaeva, ‘Narco Feminism’. What a great term to be used by women who wish to talk about the issues of women who use drugs, through a framework of prohibition and gender. Really good stuff! To keep things short, here is our welcome speech, spoken at the opening of the conference. Our Norwegian peer, Arild Knutson, gave a powerful and energized closing speech at the end of the event, which shone a big spotlight on just how far people who use drugs have come in the world of drug policy -how far they are bringing governments and policy makers, and how important their - our - contribution really is in today’s world of (slowly but surely) changing drug policies. And may it keep on changing in a more human direction!! Check out more, here///
EuroNPUD members attended 2 important hepatitis events held in Portugal in September this year. Taking HCV testing, treatment and follow up care -to the people, to the street, into our communities seemed to be the overarching theme, as HCV treatment is finally being dragged out of its silo and HCV positive people are demanding to be looked at as people, and not ‘livers on a plate’.
In Porto, in a social housing neighborhood, in an abandoned building that is occupied by around 12 people and it is a place used by many people just to go there and smoke or inject outside of normalizing looks…
Unfortunately the week before on the 14th a person died there, alone, surrounded by garbage, needle still in the arm…
As it is one of the places where we’ve been developing a project trying to have 2 Peers from CASO at least two days peer week, since the beginning of March, it seemed the adequate and right place and moment to develop this action.
Over Summer, 2018, there were 3 big campaigns for our community - in June there was Support. Don’t Punish, in July there was International Remembrance Day and in August there was International Overdose Awareness Day. Here is Janko Belins round up of what some of the EuroNPUD grant winners did for Support Dont Punish, this June.
EuroNPUD designs and delivers a project aimed at increasing the availability of Peer 2 Peer Naloxone in the UK. Working with peer partners in 3 areas of the UK with some of the highest overdose rates, our community dug down to find out where naloxone is being ditributed and where it isnt and what any barriers to access, mean for the opiate user on the street.
• Our communities demand an end to austerity, an end to the war on drugs and people who use drugs.
• We demand to be decriminalised.
• We demand for our drugs to be legalised so that we do not risk our health and lives every time we use drugs.
• We demand access to comprehensive harm reduction and means with which to test the contents of our drugs, as well as widespread access to life-saving overdose reversing naloxone.
• We demand an end to social exclusion, and a recognition of our human rights. We do not forfeit our human rights because we use drugs.
• We are the people who use drugs, and we demand to be recognised.
Some updates from 2018’s Support. Don’t Punish - the global day of action.
: on the 26th June, drug user groups along with other supporting organisations are encouraged to take a letter to your cities Kazakhstan embassy - and deliver it personally, taking pictures to send out across social media in protest. There are very real fears that if OST is lost in Kazakhstan, it will be lost in surrounding countries as well. Fight for our peers, fight for humane, evidence based drug policies and effective, life saving drug treatment.
Just what did the French get up to last summer, for the Support.Don’t Punish Global Day of Action?