National Alliance of Methadone Advocates
November 17, 2008
BrugerForeningen (BF), NAMA’s Danish Affiliate hosted the International Drug Users’ Day (IDUD) in Copenhagen Denmark October 30 to November 3, 2008 to bring together the top user activists from around the world.
IDUD event was founded in 1995 by the national Dutch umbrella user organisation Landelijk Steunpunt Druggebruikers (LSD) and their director Theo van Dam. IDUD was an international conference and celebration for drug user activists to network, share ideas and unite user organizations. The last IDUD was hosted by BF in 2003 and gathered 96 activists from 16 different nations. The event was documented by Howard Lotsof (NAMA and Dora Weiner Foundation) and can be read on the BF website at http://www.brugerforeningen.dk/bfny.nsf/engelsk/nl003?OpenDocument&S=UK
Ths year’s event brought together 120 activists from around the world. Presentations included:
- Méta d’âme’s new facility and the peer delivered services.
- Syringe and needle distribution in jails and how to go about it.
- Lifesaving prevention of peer distributed Naloxone to reduce overdose deaths.
- Making user unions accepted in wider society by providing services (i.e. syringe patrols & prevention lectures at schools) and using the parents and relatives of drug users to promote the union.
- Improving the lives of drug users through the union’s advisory services to the community and advocacy.
- Publications: user magazines and special concepts such as the J-Key Cards to educate drug users and promote user organizations.
- Heroin trials and treatment.
- Memorial Day events for deceased drug users – 21 July.
- Human rights for drug users and what user organizations should know.
- Attracting funding for user groups and interest organizations.
- Working with journalists and using the media to promote user organizations.
This was the fifteenth year anniversay of BrugerForeningen and on November 1, 2008 120 activists were served a three course meal. After dinner the gala party continued with a live band consisting of activists musicians from Italy, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Belgium with Pat O’Hare in lead.
NAMA presented Joergen Kjaer and BF the International Advocate of the Year Award for 2009 for “...the exceptional work they have done in Denmark and throughout the world advocating for drug users and those who are voiceless. Their efforts have resulted in a more united network of user organizations throughout the world, helped to create a unified voice and brought the issues that confront drug users to the public.”
Congratulations to BF and Happy Anniversary with many more successful years to come.
Photos of the events can be seen at these links.