History of Drug User Organising in Europe

Home 9 History of Drug User Organising in Europe

Drug user organising has some of its earliest roots in Europe. In the 1984, the Junkisbund in Rotterdam launched the world’s first needle and syringe programme in response to Hepatitis B among people who inject drugs. This is one of several examples of drug user organisations pioneering harm reduction practice from NSPs, to Naloxone distribution schemes to stimulant pipe distribution initiatives.

Drug user organisations in Europe played key roles in supporting the development of drug user organising at a global level. In 1997 ASUD organised a pre-conference for people who use drugs at the International Harm Reduction Conference in Paris called I AM DU – International Association Meeting of Drug Users. Brukarföreningen hosted an extraordinary general meeting on INPUD to mobilise support for a strategy to support the development of our global network.

The European Network of People who Use Drugs (EuroNPUD) held its founding meeting in Amsterdam in 2011. Drug user activists from many countries in the EU and its neighbouring countries came together to conceive and found EuroNPUD.

 At EuroNPUD’s second General Assembly, country members decided to create a model that gave maximum chance for country activists to be involved in the delivery of projects. A small part-time Secretariat has evolved to support an Executive of project managers to lead EuroNPUD’s thematic projects working with our creative consultants, technical writers and country partners.

This maximises the involvement and resources going to country activists and member groups. This allows EuroNPUD to fairly distribute resources and work opportunities across the EU and its neighbouring countries to maximise the impact and country involvement in EuroNPUD. Critically this is achieved without stripping the leadership capacity from county member groups.