Eight issue of Drugs - Policies and Practices

Drugs - Policies and practices 

„Issue topic - Women and Drugs“.


Introduction: Women’s Voice on Efficient Programs for Women Who Use Drugs

Why women and drugs?

In Europe, almost a quarter of the people with severe problems caused by drug use are women. On average, there is one woman for every three men being treated, and one in five death cases caused by drug use are women. Author: Irena Cvetkovic

A woman who has used drugs can also make something of herself in life – she can become a mother, have a job - Interview with E.

Е. is a woman with first-hand experience in using different drugs for many years, although she is only addicted to opioids. She hasn’t been using drugs for a long time now and is treated from addiction with a methadone substation therapy. In the meantime, she has a job and takes care of her child as a single parent. The difficulty of expressing her feelings was quite obvious, particularly when being interviewed by a man, and yet she agreed to the conversation, happy for the opportunity to share her experiences as a woman who has used drugs. Е. sincerely hopes her testimony will help appeal to the competent institutions to increase the help offered to girls and women who use drugs, including those treated from drug dependence. Her experience, and from what she knows from other girls and women, confirms the need for introducing specific gender-oriented services for girls and women who use drugs and are treated from drug dependence. Interviewer: Vanja Dimitrievski

Psychoactive Substance Use in Pregnancy and Effects on the Fetus

With opioid addiction, methadone substitution treatment is recommended for better control of the addiction as opposed to risking the life of the woman and the fetus with abstinence crises which cause additional stress to both. Author: Davor Smilanov

Starting Drug User Groups – The Craft of Drug User Organising

Mat Southwell describes a technical model for starting a drug user group that is based on the direct experience of Coact, a peer-led technical support cooperative, and the shared experience of others involved in running or supporting community mobilisation among people who use drugs.

Another Sad Story

R. was 16 years old when she asked help from HOPS. At the time she was injecting drugs and came to seek help for opioid addiction treatment. That’s where the laborious journey through the institutional labyrinths began.Author: Silvana Naumova

Disrespecting the Law on Execution of Sanctions – reason for adverse consequences on the life of people who use drugs

Pursuant Article 193 from the Law on Execution of Sanctions during a prison sentence, with an increased intensity in the last three months before the expiration of the sentence, “it is necessary to undertake activities in order to prepare the convicts for release from prison and their adjustment to life at freedom.” However, quite often people are released from prison without any personal identification documents and proper health care.  Author: Margarita Gliguroska

August 31st – International Overdose Awareness Day

For years, all research has been pointing to the limitied availability of naloxone in the Republic of Macedonia which has led to frequent overdose death cases. In terms of the state’s positive obligation, it is necessary to adopt a legal framework which will provide continuous availability and easy access to naloxone as a blocker of opioid or opiate overdose. Author: Irena Jovanovska

Drug overdose victims – testimonies of relatives and friends

On August 31st, the International Overdose Awareness Day, HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje launched an internet action for sharing overdose experiences. The testimonies were not many, however the action attracted significant attention for a fitting celebration of the day and raising awareness on drug overdose. Bellow are few of the testimonies of people who bravely and publically revealed their feelings about victims of the institutional indifference on drug overdose. Edited by: Irena Jovanovska

Prominent Women in the Field of Drugs

Short portraits of Ann Shulgin, Betty Eisner, Julie Holland, Maria Sabina. Edited by: Davor Smilanov


Our recommendations

Prepared by: Irena Jovanovska