Pompidou Group - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs

“Between street and screen: traditions and innovations in the drugs field” - Outcome of a cooperation in social drug research field

The European Society for Social Drug Research (ESSD) set up in 1990 has been receiving the support of Pompidou Group for their annual conferences and annual publications for several years.  The 2016 book tackles the topic of the use technological innovations : computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets, the Internet, apps, etc and their use by drug users, drug dealers and drug researchers. Changes take place swiftly in the European drug situation and in social drug research. To a large extent, these developments are fuelled by technological innovations. Like many other people, drug users, drug dealers and drug researchers increasingly make use of electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets, the Internet, apps, etc. These devices share one thing: the screen. These developments mean that researchers no longer need to go to locations where drug users congregate to conduct ‘real life’ observations or interviews. Given these rapid technological developments and new opportunities, one could almost forget that, in most cases, people use drugs together with other people in a real life setting. The challenge for social drug research is therefore to find the right balance between street and screen. This book includes contributions from researchers that illustrate the relevance and value of classic ethnographic methods in contemporary research, and also show that sociological concepts and theories from the twentieth century can still be helpful in understanding new phenomena in the drug field. The authors discuss the implications of the use of the screen for policymakers and practitioners in the field of law enforcement, prevention, harm reduction and treatment. Together, the various chapters present a state-of-the art picture of the diversity in today’s world of drug use and drug distribution.

  ‘The nexus of human rights and drug control policies’ UNGASS side event organised by the government of Norway and the Pompidou Group

Mr. Jan Malinowski, Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group, gave a presentation underlining that the enjoyment of human rights is closely intertwined with the impact of policy on social, economic and other rights of people affected in one way or another by drug policy. He outlined the consequences for drugs policy of the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and of access to medicines as a fundamental aspect of the right to health. The human rights dimension of drug policy is also closely linked to the development agenda and the sustainable development goals. In line with the Council of Europe’s core values and aims, under its current Norwegian Presidency, the Pompidou Group aims to bring human rights to the forefront of drug policy and also to explore the unintended social and economic consequences and costs of drug policies.


  Treatment of substance abuse disorders among young people’ UNGASS side event organised by the government of Israel, the Pompidou Group and UNODC

Ms. Elena Hedoux gave a presentation of the Pompidou Group’s work on young people and drug use and how to reach and provide those at risk with suitable treatment. She highlighted the important role of general practitioners as a first point of contact, and the need to provide low-threshold and non-stigmatizing access to treatment services. Young people should be enabled take ownership of their treatment to ensure a high level of success and remission. In order to effectively reach young people, in particular high risk groups, internet-based offers can provide innovative and cost-effective options. These can have a much wider reach than face-to-face offers and also reach those groups that would normally not access other forms of treatment.

  Mr. Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services of Norway, delivered a statement on behalf of the Pompidou Group in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly

The statement emphasised that the Pompidou Group upholds the core values of the Council of Europe, human rights, democracy and rule of law. The Pompidou Group finds it of extreme importance and relevance to remind that drug policy – as all other policy fields – must be developed, implemented and evaluated in light of and in full respect of the fundamental human rights. The Pompidou Group notes that Human Rights are highlighted in the outcome document of the UNGASS, and expects the follow-up process to take this fully into account, and to contribute to the task of defining the impact of human rights on the field of drug policy where this is unclear.
The complete statement can be downloaded HERE.

Call for applications: European Drug Prevention Prize 2016.

Apply for the Pompidou Group 2016 European Drug Prevention Prize and win €5.000.
The Prize is awarded every two years to drug prevention projects made by young people from 47 Council of Europe member States as well as other member States of the Pompidou Group and members of the Group's Mediterranean Network for Co-operation on Drugs and Addictions (MedNET). Up to three projects will be awarded a Prize. At the Award Ceremony every winner will receive a Prize Trophy, a Prize Diploma and €5.000 for their further development.
The applications should reach the Pompidou Group secretariat by 31 July 2016. Please read the instructions carefully and submit your application by email to pompidou.preventionprize@coe.int.

‘Drug use in women: best practices in the design and implementation of programs and public policies for prevention and treatment with a gender approach’ UNGASS side event organised by the governments of Italy, Chile and Peru

At this side event Mr. Jan Malinowski introduced the latest Pompidou Group publication on the gender dimension of non-medical use of prescription drugs. The publication is the result of an initiative of Italy which launched a consultation process among professionals in four countries: France, Italy, Portugal and Spain which took place in 2015. In addition the publication contains a review of literature on violence experienced by women who use drugs. The study calls for recognising the link between violence and psychoactive substance use, and proposes the improvement of care for women who use drugs and are victims of violence.

‘Listening to the needs of children and young people is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe’ UNGASS side event organised by the governments of France, Sweden, UNODC and WHO

The Pompidou Group was represented at this special high-profile event by Mr. Jan Malinowski, Mr. Thomas Kattau and Ms. Elena Hedoux of the Secretariat. This global initiative launched by the HM the Queen of Sweden on the occasion of UNGASS 2016, increases the support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the wellbeing of children and youth, their families and their communities.

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19-21, New-York
Participation of PG in UNGASS side events

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