On the occasion of the International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st), the organization “DIOGENIS Drug Policy Dialogue” continues the awareness campaign with the slogan “Persons Who Use Drugs Count” . This International Day was established as a day of remembrance for people who have lost their lives or have suffered harm as a consequence of overdose. Although overdose deaths can be prevented, the necessary emphasis has not yet been given to effective management of this phenomenon.
In the effort to prevent overdose deaths, in EU, 10 Nationwide Naloxone programs are being implemented, including training for relatives and friends of users with the ability to have their own Naloxone home program. Also in 7 EU countries there are supervised consumption rooms (78 in total) to prevent overdose deaths to those who are homeless or do not have a supportive environment.
Diogenis organization supports the need Greece to follow this example and, through the adoption of a National Strategy, which includes the grant of Naloxon as a measure to prevent death from overdose. The adoption of a corresponding policy is also part of the EU’s drugs policy (2017-2020) and of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
This campaign is within the frame of the project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe”, funded by the European Commission and by the Open Society Foundations.
You can read more here.
In view of the on-going progress in the field of the medical use of cannabis at international level, as well as the current developments in our country, NGO Diogenis within a network of collaborating civil society organizations – with years of experience, knowledge and activity in this specific area of interest – is undertaking the initiative to set up and coordinate the establishment of the “Greek Observatory for the Medical Use of Cannabis”.
The common goal of our organizations is to ensure the immediate, unhindered and legal access of patients to quality cannabis for medical use based on international evidence based data and best practices.
The issue of Drug Consumption Rooms has been discussed for some time now in Greece, and as a country we have the 10-month experience of such an room in the center of Athens. (“ODYSSEAS” program, 2013-2014). Drug Consumption Rooms have been operating for decades in many countries in Europe and globally, providing important data and conclusions.
It is also important, in our country, that any discussion for this issue, to be done only on the basis of scientifically substantiated data.
You can read here the press release of “Diogenes” on the occasion of the relevant Press Release of KETHEA (30/5/2017).
On the occasion of International Human Right’s Day, celebrated each year on December 10th, Civil Society organizations from South East Europe, make a call for change towards human rights’ oriented drug policy.
Worldwide, we have seen large-scale abuses of international human rights in the name of the drug control system. During the last decades, repressive policies – particularly focused in law enforcement – have been the main strategy of addressing the drug phenomenon. This approach is clearly in total contradiction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Among others, the right to life, the right to health, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to due process and a fair trial are violated on a regular basis against a particularly vulnerable and marginalized population, that of people who use drugs. Read more
The World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember all those who lost their battle with HIV, and those who continue to fight to eliminate the disease. However, daily (2015) worldwide, 5753 people are infected by the virus. Many of them belong to the so-called “vulnerable” groups and one of them are injected drug users, mainly of opioids. In Greece, the rate of new infections due to transmission through shared syringes are in average 37% for the years 2011 to 2014 (source: KEELPNO).
The only way to reduce these numbers, that is, more people to protect themselves from a possible infection with the HIV virus, is to increase harm reduction measures through a national strategy and a national action plan. These could be two tools for proper coordination, to avoid overlapping activities in the field and better distribution and management of human and financial resources, that exist in almost all EU countries. Apart from Greece. And this is a gap, which on the occasion of the World Day for AIDS, we as civil society, need to bring to the fore, if we really care to protect vulnerable populations from the HIV virus. Read more