For more videos of the International Harm Reduction Conference, please click here.
We hardly saw the sun for a week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the International Harm Reduction Conference took place in October 2015, attended by more than 800 professionals and activists from 17 countries. When it was visible, people could easily mistake it for the moon, because it was just a pale orange spot on the sky. The city was cloaked in a thick fog and smoke (coming from distant forest fires). We felt as if we were sitting in the middle of one of the steaming bowls of soup which are served up in the town's Chinese restaurants. The future of harm reduction is equally clouded. Even Master Yoda could not see it.
A declaration has been adopted at this year's International Harm Reduction Conference, called the Kuala Lumpur Declaration (which I encourage you to sign here!) to shed light on the subject, and ensure that the next ten years will be the harm reduction decade. We have promising signs that this can become a reality. Canadian participants were delighted to learn that while they were attending the conference, their country went through a major change, with the opposition Liberals winning a landslide victory over the Conservatives who had ruled the country for the past decade. Since 2006, the Harper government has obstructed every effort to scale up harm reduction services and open new drug consumption rooms. Canadians now have a very good chance that they will live in a harm reduction decade.
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