Visit of the delegation of the Drug Policy Network Southeast Europe DPNSEE to the Office for Combating Drugs
Thanasis Apostolou Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South East Europe Drug Policy Network, Milutin Milošević, Chief Executive Officer of the “Network”, Nebojša Đurasović, Project Manager of the “Prevent” association from Novi Sad and Denis Dedajić, chairman of the “Margin” association from Tuzla, visited the Office for Combating Drugs and on that occasion they met the Acting Director of the Office for Combating Drugs, Milan Pekić.
Mr. Apostolou put the emphasis of the “Network” activities on the topic of dicreasing consequences of abuse of psychoactive substances, meaning cooperation with experts (physiatrists, doctors, scientists etc.), as well as working with addicts from the streets. The “Network” as an NGO, is an independent from public authorities and it is oriented towards connectivity with other countries for the purpose of exchanging experiences and common projects. Connecting the Office with the “Network” would enable bigger participation of non-governmental sector in the cooperation chain, and thereby create possibilities for realization of bigger projects in the Republic of Serbia, aimed at decreasing consequences.
Mr. Đurasović gave the example of project for promoting prevention carried out in Novi Sad, whose results were extraordinary, visible and rewarded by the Pompidou Group.
Mr. Dedajić underlined that policy for decreasing consequences was well-thought in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that standards were determined by the Ministry of Health. Good mechanism in decreasing consequences was implemented by providing accredited services to drug abusers, in the form of opening counseling offices for abusers and for the members of their families, for HIV testing etc.
With the aim of more detailed data collection, Mr. Milošević proposed expansion of cooperation network with different sectors, particularly with local self-government.
Director Pekić and his associates presented the Office’s plans for the upcoming period and expressed openness for cooperation with non-governmental sector in order that appropriate results would be achieved as soon as possible.