Unlike other countries from the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is experimenting with drug policy in order to improve the public health response to drug use. After almost two decades of advocacy and preparatory legal work, a drug consumption room (DCR) pilot project was launched in Ljubljana, in 2015, by the local NGO, 'Stigma'.
At a regional drug policy conference that took place recently in Belgrade, Re Generation representatives introduced the Room for Change campaign, and spoke about our aim of stimulating public debate about opening a drug consumption room in Serbia. One of the participants, a government official from the Slovenian Ministry of Health, told the audience in his speech that Slovenia was piloting a drug consumption room program in Ljubljana. Usually, such important drug policy changes – significant though they may be for drug policy activists and experts – receive a sceptical welcome from the general public, and are followed by campaigns and enormous media coverage in the Balkans region. In this particular case, however, instead of media promotion, the Slovenian Ministry of Health and the initiating local civil society organisation, 'Stigma', developed their cooperation outside the media limelight. Based on their good coordination, the legal framework was set up, and funds were allocated for this evidence-based public health program.
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