the failure of a perfect strategy on drugs

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Transcript the failure of a perfect strategy on drugs

THE NEED FOR HARM
REDUCTION
THE SITUATION IN
BULGARIA
Bulgarian DU Activism
Milena Naydenova – Hope-Sofia
THE BENEFITS FROM
HARM REDUCTION
 THE
BENEFITS FROM
HARM REDUCTION FOR DU:
 THE
BENEFITS FROM
HARM REDUCTION FOR SOCIETY:
CHEAPER THAN ANY OTHER DRUG POLICY
AND THE ONLY ONE THAT LEADS TO REAL
POSITIVE RESULTS

Incarceration of DU is 10 times more expensive
than the methadone treatment;
Youngsters are IN THE SOCIETY,
instead of being provided BY THE SOCIETY;


Maintaining programs decrease the rates of drug
use and the number of drug users;

Maintaining treatments substantially reduce the
rates of injecting drug use and consequently
(together with the NEP) – the spread of bloodborn diseases, including Hep. C and HIV / AIDS;

Substantially decreases the drug related crimes;
Strikes a serious economic blow over the
organized crime, and consequently decreases
the corruption at highest political levels;

THE CURRENT SITUATION
IN THE FIELD OF DRUGS
IN BULGARIA
LEGISLATION
Less than a month ago the Bulgarian law on
drugs was finally changed. It lead to:

–
–
–
Almost epidemiological spread of HIV among DU
community and especially among the DU from the
Roma minority;
Decreased substantially the effectiveness of the NEP,
as the DU went deep underground;
Tremendous increase of the corruption in the police,
the investigation, and the court, which became
obvious even for the general public;
–
–
Increase in the prisons’ population;
Thousands of cases against youngsters, arrested and
charged with a possession of a narcotic substance
that costs less than an EUR 1, thousands of young
ruined lives and millions to the tax payers;
AT THE SAME TIME NEITHER OF THE
AIMED GOALS
WAS UNDOUBTEDLY ACHIEVED!

The newly enacted law on drugs:
– What provides:
for possession for personal use 0-5 years
imprisonment, and / or probation, and / or a fine;
–
–
again the only option is a criminal trial instead of an
administrative violation;
there are neither specified quantities, no differentiation
of the drugs. Everything is measured by its street price
– the regulations are not clear enough;
–
–
Main flaws:
NATIONAL POLICY
National strategy on drugs: very expensive,
well designed, but unrealistic, inapplicable, and
obviously never meant to be implemented.
 The medical health care system: too
centralized, too bureaucratic, and above all - the
health insurances do not cover neither drug
related health problem.
Social and health governmental programs for
ex DU or people on maintaining treatments:
THERE ARE NOT ANY


HARM REDUCTION PROGRAMS

free state programs: 3 maintaining programs in 3
towns with 550 slots altogether, one inpatient clinic
with 20 beds for more than 50,000 problematic
injecting heroin users’ (NCA’s data):
COMPLETELY INSUFFICIENT
private treatment programs and practices – financially
unaffordable for the average Bulgarian families. No
real competition, no governmental agency to control
their prices:
NOT ENOUGH EFFICIENT
–
–
TREATMENT PROGRAMS:

SERVICE PROVIDING PROGRAMS
the few NGOs that introduced harm reduction in
Bulgaria around a decade ago – they still work most
efficiently;
–
–
the artificially created NGOs, by people, close to the
Ministry of Health officials, after the big donors had
entered Bulgaria – most of these programs need
either reorganizing, or to be closed in favor of the
efficiently working once.
OUR MAIN CONCERNS
The corruption at middle and higher levels;
 There is neither a social agency, nor a public body,
which to control the work of the institutions. Only the
public control could increase the efficiency of their work
but the organizing of such a body / coalition has been
hardened and prevented by any legal means;
No real competition in the private therapeutic programs
and practices;
 There neither a governmental, nor a public agency,
which to control the prices in the private therapeutic
programs and practices;


The officials often refuse information to NGOs that are
not under their protection, or give one that is out-ofdate;




The officials often defend somebody’s personal
interests, as well as their own;
Much more slots in the financially affordable and the
free treatment programs are desperately needed;
Service providing programs do not take DU in their
teams.
HOPE - SOFIA
Hope-Sofia is a 100% non-profit organization
and the only working drug users’ organization in
Bulgaria – we survive through donors;
Hope-Sofia was registered in January, 2004 as a
foundation in public disposal, while DU activism
in Bulgaria started at first in 2000.
 WHAT WE DO:
in 3 words: advocacy, information, education
that eventually would result in: acceptance,
better self-esteem, (re-)socialization.


T H A N K Y O U!