The international drug conventions were created to ensure the “health and welfare of mankind”, yet drug policies around the world continue to focus on criminal justice and repression rather than on health responses. Governments across the world should provide harm reduction and treatment interventions to reduce the harms associated with drug use, and ensure adequate access to essential medicines.
“Like a number of major cities, Bristol is suffering from an increase in drug related deaths and hospital admissions, so everyone including police and council are willing to consider new initiatives and we really feel we can make a difference."
But after more than 30 years of activism, he acknowledges that most people's pain - not just in India but all around the world - is still ignored. That is why he describes pain as an "invisible" epidemic.
This event will consider whether stigma is due to misrepresentation - that leads to public misunderstanding of drug use - and whether changing public opinions can lead to the development of improvements in the lives of people who use drugs and in the development of better services for people with a drug problem.
Ahead of the May 2018 Global Fund Board meeting, Harm Reduction International urges Board members to support changes to the Eligibility Policy that will help to achieve the goal of ending AIDS for people who inject drugs and other key populations.