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.

An observation in family development throughout history, from the very beginnings of civilization, when people lived in hordes, to present days, reveals that family has changed its shapes and functions depending on the general social norms and the development of society itself. However, by satisfying the basic living human needs, protecting or discarding their children, very often families face a problem that develops into an illness. Illness is absence of health, however, addiction illness implies not only illness of the individual, rather of the family.   

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.

Social services have one aim. To offer support to the individual, the family and the group in general. Children’s social services are there to offer support towards a regular and normal psycho-physical development of every child. The child learns from its immediate surrounding at birth. Its inclusion in society is conditioned by numerous factors, primarily on the family, on the one hand, and the social factors, for instance peers, school and surrounding in general. Their positive influence determines the development of a healthy, mature person, however sometimes they can have negative impact on the child’s growth and development. An insufficient balance can cause the child to find itself at risk or faced with a certain social problem. In such cases, social services intervene and give the support and help needed to resolve the problem.

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.

The use of psychoactive substances is a socio-cultural phenomenon, an occurrence present from the past till today throughout the world. Despite all possible prohibitions, legislative regulations and billions of dollars spent on the so-called “War on drugs”, in essence, none of the restrictions led to putting an end to or eradicating drug use. On the contrary, drugs, legal or illegal, are mass produced, sold and used.

The predominant stereotypical excuses for drug use are curiosity, experimentation, stress release, escape from reality and other problems etc. Users describe the effects of drugs or the “high” as extraordinary, unusual, transcendental, deep experience that changes the perception of things, life or one’s view of life.

Call for Articles for 9th issue of the Drugs – Policies and Practices magazine

HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje’s Center for Education, Documentation and Research and Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities” announce call for articles for 9th issue of the Drugs – Policies and Practices magazine.

Drugs – Policies and Practices promotes topics about drugs, drug use, drug treatment, and other related topics, such as: sex work and drugs, HIV/AIDS and drugs, Hepatitis B and C and drugs, Tuberculosis and drugs, rights of the marginalized groups/communities, gender perspectives, free access to public information, researches, policies, advocacy, civil society, activism, social work, social policy, health, through the drugs perspectives.

Drugs – Policies and Practices target audience are people who use drugs, people on drug addiction treatment, experts for drug use and drug treatment issues and all for people with interest for these topics. It is published both in Macedonian (printed and online) and in English (online).

Support. Don't Punish campaign survey 2017

Support. Don’t Punish is a global advocacy campaign calling for better drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign aims to promote drug policy reform, and to change laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions.

2017 is the 5th year for the Support. Don’t Punish campaign, and we will be coordinating another Global Day of Action on 26th June. We have created this short survey (it should take you no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete) to hear from you about what you think has worked best for the campaign, and what could be improved for this year and beyond.

On the following link you can become part of the survey.


HOPS as Secondary Recipient of the Grant No. MKD-011-G04-T for implementation of the project Ensuring High Quality and Sustainable DOTS Interventions in Republic of Macedonia funded by GFATM,  implementing program activities addressing the sustainability of the TB preventive program in Macedonia is inviting eligible International Consultants to submit proposals for consultancy services for:

Consultancy services for developing effective ACSM Strategy for National - TB Control activities in Republic of Macedonia:

The details about this consultancy including the required qualifications are outlined in the detailed Terms of Reference

Consultancy services for epidemiological modeling and allocative efficiency of the National TB program activities in Republic of Macedonia:

The details about this consultancy including the required qualifications are outlined in the detailed Terms of Reference.

Consultancy services for assessment of Human Resources (HR) Capacities of the National TB program activities in Republic of Macedonia:

The details about this consultancy including the required qualifications are outlined in the detailed Terms of Reference.

Participate in the Support. Don’t Punish photo contest!

The interactive photo project is a key component of the Support. Don't Punish campaign. With over 8,500 entries, the collection is much more than a static gallery, it connects participants to an ever-growing global movement calling for an end to punitive and damaging drug control policies.

Five months away from the 2017 Global Day of Action, is launched a Photo Contest to showcase the campaign’s biggest asset: You!


To enter the contest, follow three simple steps:

  1. Print the Support. Don’t Punish logo.

  2. Take a picture with it.

  3. Send it over:

    • By Facebook, by posting your photo on our wall with the hashtag #SupportDontPunish

    • Via Twitter, using the hashtag #SupportDontPunish

    •  e-mail.

European Drug Report 2016: Trends and Developments

The Trends and Developments report presents a top-level overview of the drug phenomenon in Europe, covering drug supply, use and public health problems as well as drug policy and responses. Together with the online Statistical Bulletin, Country Overviews and Perspectives on Drugs, it makes up the 2016 European Drug Report package.

The health risks of high-potency products, the continued emergence of new substances, and changing patterns of drug use are among the issues highlighted in the European Drug Report 2016: Trends and Developments. The report also examines concern over rises in overdose deaths in some countries and the threats posed by internet drug markets.


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.

Civil activism in any social field requires a lot of effort, devoting most of one’s free time, obligations, as well as complete dedication towards achieving the desired goals. Any form of 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. Drugs activism carries burden and certain obstacles anyone resolved to take this road should be prepared to face and accept at the very beginning. Unfortunately, we live in a society where drugs remain a taboo topic and where people foster certain loathing and prejudices towards anyone dealing with this issue, disregarding the reasons why an activist would choose this problematic and whether he/she is personally concerned with it.  

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.

Grassroots drug user organising

In January 1981, the Junkiebond was formed as an advocacy and activist drug user group based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As early as 1981, Junkiebond started an underground needle and syringe programme (NSP) with the aim of protecting people who inject drugs from hepatitis B. They took an activist approach campaigning for effective services for drug users, challenging discrimination and defending human rights.