Drug replacement and maintenance therapy have a long history of providing individuals struggling with problematic drug use with legal access to drugs that would otherwise be obtained through illegal means. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Institute of Medicine, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the World Health Organization and over four decades of government-funded, peer-reviewed medical research have unequivocally and repeatedly proven that replacement therapies like methadone maintenance are the most effective treatments for opioid dependence.
The U.S. refuses to adopt an evidence-based HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, costing us hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars. However, in countries where addiction is treated as a health issue, the fight against HIV/AIDS is being won. Newly diagnosed HIV infections in many countries have been nearly eliminated among people who use drugs, just as mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been eliminated in countries that make medicines for pregnant women accessible.
The Global Commission, whose members include Kofi Annan and four former presidents, calls the drug war a failure and advocates a paradigm shift in global drug policy. The commission's bold recommendations include encouraging governments to experiment with legalization of drugs, particularly marijuana; putting an end to drug policies being driven by ideology and politics; and directing resources away from arresting and incarcerating so many people for drug law violations.
Legislators appreciate hearing from their constituents, and they are elected to represent our views. Always give your legislator your name, address, and telephone number so that they know you are one of their constituents. Be sure to include this information whether you visit in person, call, or write.
When you contact your legislators, a short sentence or two about why you personally support or oppose a certain proposal is fine.
Most importantly, always be courteous and clear when communicating with your legislators. Remember, legislators are people, too!
This volume includes a variety of perspectives on harm reduction approaches, together with an analysis of the concept's role within drug policies, both in Europe and beyond. Readers may not necessarily agree with all of the arguments made or the conclusiondrawn, but we hope it is perceived as a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate on how to respond to contemporary drug problems in Europe.
The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) is an international network of scientists, academics, and health practitioners committed to improving the health and safety of communities and individuals affected by illicit drugs.
Youth R.I.S.E. (Resource. Information. Support. Education) is an international, youth-led network of young people committed to confronting the reality that young people today live in a world where drugs are more accessible on the street than the education and resources needed to reduce their harm.
The Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA) is an ethnically diverse group composed of people living with HIV and drug use, working in addiction treatment, health care, education, law and assorted other areas. CRA is unique as an organization in that the community of individuals affected by HIV and drug use is primarily involved in consuming drugs and support around living with HIV. CRA is an action organization for those interested in directly serving, supporting, educating and advocating with others for reducing drug-related harms.
Vancouver's Four Pillars Drug Strategy is a coordinated, comprehensive approach to drug addiction that balances public order and public health in order to create a safer, healthier community.
Innerchange Foundation researches effective, integrated 'exit strategies' for chronically addicted individuals to end drug dependency, suited to their needs.