Seventh issue of Drugs - Policies and Practices

Drugs - Policies and practices 

„Issue topic – Drug activism“.


Preface: Activists, How Proud It Sounds!

A Brief History of Drug User Self-Organisations

This technical briefing tells the story of a number of different groups and networks formed by people who use drugs to promote our health and defend our rights. A historical view is taken to help draw out common themes and create a framework for discussing and developing drug user organisations. Many drug user groups take on multiple functions and also as drug user groups mature and develop so they expand, develop and extend their remits. Authors: Mat Southwell and Lana Durjava, Coact

Who We Are and Where Have We Come? - Interview with Žarir Simrin

Talking with Žarir is always inspiring and it is difficult to stay on one topic with him. He simply has so much to say, and has the ability to connect seemingly unrelated topics in the discussion. When I met him, in the far 1999, Žarir gave an impression of a versatile and open-minded person, a conclusion that has been confirmed again and again throughout the years. He is among the few people in Macedonia with the courage and virtue to publicly advocate for the rights of people who use drugs. At the beginning of the 21st century, he was among the founders of the Macedonian Association of Drug Users, and later a founder and president of Passage, an organization advocating for the rights of people who use drugs, and he has also been active in other informal groups with identical or similar goals. His experience and knowledge of an activist among people who use drugs inspired the interview. Žarir is a harm reduction outreach worker, and describes himself as a polydrug user, activist and a free artist. Interview by: Vanja Dimitrievski

Drug Users Activism in Macedonia

First of all, I am not sure if we can speak of drug users activism, such as I see it, because people have no awareness, no courage, there is no freedom of thought, and lately people have been afraid to talk openly on this subject because we live in such totalitarian times that communism from the past, for instance, seems like no big deal” – drug user, March 2014. Author: Vlatko Dekov

Activism as Means to Decrease the Stigma of Drugs – Obstacles and Hope for the Future

Civil activism means fighting for changes, for gaining certain rights or simply introducing the broader public with a certain problem or a state that needs to be corrected. Drug activism carries certain difficulties and challenges distinctive for this issue. Author: Davor Angelovski

The Necessity for Introducing Social Services for Children Who Use Drugs

Drug use among children is a complex and serious problem that demands involvement of numerous factors related to the policy makers, but also social, health and educational factors. It is an issue that requires a serious approach from competent ministries, the Ministry of Labour and Social Politics above all, and the Ministry of Health, into finding a way to include children users in treatment, rehabilitation, re-socialization and reintegration in society. Author: Aleksandra Spasovska

Occasional and Responsible Use of Psychoactive Substances 

Responsible drug use essentially implies reducing or eliminating negative and harmful impacts, current or that might occur in the user or among the individuals from his closest surroundings. Author: Davor Smilanov

The Family - A Crucial Link When Dealing with Addiction

“Family is the institution to which we owe our humanity. We know no other way of making human beings except by bringing them up in a family.” – Margaret Mead. Family is the basic social group also known as the basic unit of society. Author: Biljana Ivanovska

Delusion and disillusion at the global UN meeting on drugs

However, the omission of critical issues in the agreement—which became the subject of numerous statements by member states, UN agencies and civil society organisations throughout the UNGASS—revealed the limited and tenuous nature of any global consensus on tackling drugs. Author: Gloria Lai


Our recommendations

Prepared by: Irena Jovanovska