Addictology in the world - digest


Drug users are saving thousands of lives

Publisher: Ing. Mgr. Bc. Vendula Běláčková Ph.D. | Last update: 05.10.2010

Dr. Samuel Friedman, who attended the conference Urban Drug Policies in the Globalised World in Prague in late September, described in his interview for the leading Czech daily newspaper MFDNES how drug users and user organisations contribute to the reduction of harm - via both public health and public safety interventions. Friedman also presented the results of a study showing that increased drug-related enforcement leads to greater overdose rates and HIV infection rates among drug users.

Friedman referred to organisations such as the International Network of People Who Use Drugs that take part in debates on drug policy at the highest level. There is no such organisation in operation in the Czech Republic. The above-mentioned conference invited clients from harm reduction services in the Czech Republic, and a project involving drug users' outreach into local community labour work was presented for the first time.

Dr. Friedman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for AIDS Research at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Theoretical Synthesis Core at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, New York City, U.S.A. He has published over 400 publications in the field of drug use and HIV. The full text of the interview (in Czech) can be found HERE.

The outcomes of the Urban Drug Policies in the Globalised World conference can be found at, and also on Facebook; those interested in drug policy can read and sign the Prague declaration.


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