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’.
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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.
Does your drug user group have an idea for SDP this June 26th? Need a bit of cash to help it become a reality? EuroNPUD is pleased to invite member drug user groups to apply for one of eight $500 grants to support a Support Don’t Punish event in your country on 26 June 2018. We also have tshirts available thanks to IDPC and the SDP Campaign!
When we witness someone else really 'get it' when it comes to the work we are doing and how important and useful our community can be in that process, it is a great moment to see. In this context, on the frontline of drugs, drug use and drug users, people can and do have 'lightbulb' moments, epiphany's and revelations. Much of it occurs due to people having the opportunity to share a bit of their lives with each other, communicating openly about what they do and why they do it -and then witnessing why it works so effectively. I believe a doctor in the UK recently had one such moment, quite a revelation of sorts -but I will let him tell you about it himself.
What makes a drug user activist? Janko, EuroNPUD's campaign coordinator, shines a little light into the background of someone who has been involved in grassroots organising for around 20 years.